As a parent, the last couple of weeks have been stressful to say the least. I send my child to school fully knowing that there’s a chance she may not return home.
The issue of gun reform and school safety is probably the most talked about topic as of late, and not only in the media, but by my colleagues at the water cooler and parents whose kids play sports with mine.
We’re all racking our brains to try and come up with a solution that will make our schools safer, because honestly, none of the ones that have been proposed by politicians and advocacy groups seem effective enough.
President Trump proposed that teachers should be armed, so in case of a shooting they would be able to protect themselves and their students. However, an incident that took place at a high school in Georgia has already challenged this solution.
Jesse Randall Davidson, a social studies teacher and football announcer at Dalton High School, brought a gun to work on Wednesday and fired a shot.
“My favorite teacher at Dalton high school just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot,” a 16-year-old student named Chondi Chastain wrote on Twitter. “We had to run out the back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.”
“I feel like there just shouldn’t be guns at school at all,” she continued. “It’s our basic student right to feel safe at school and if (teachers were armed), I wouldn’t feel safe.”
According to reports, Davidson was supposed to be teaching a third period class, but when students came to his classroom door, it was locked and he wouldn’t let them in. Obviously, they did not expect their trusted teacher to be brandishing a gun.
The principal, Steve Bartoo, tried to unlock the door with a key, but Davidson “slammed the door before I could open it and said, ‘Don’t come in here, I have a gun.'” The school was immediately put on lockdown, and shortly after, Davidson “apparently fired a shot from a handgun through an exterior window of the classroom.”
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but can you imagine what was going through the minds of the students and teachers in that moment? It was just around two weeks ago that a former student went on a deadly rampage at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people.
Students later spoke to the media and gave their accounts of what it was like to fear for their life.
“A bunch of kids started screaming and running into our cafeteria and to the back door,” Chondi explained in a private message on Twitter. “I was really scared and left my stuff. I tripped over a chair on my way out and thought I would be trampled, but someone helped me up.”
I can’t help but wonder: what if it was my child that had to go through this ordeal?
Whitfield County Sheriff’s officers responded to the incident and Davidson eventually surrendered. He was taken into custory and charged with aggravated assault, carrying a weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of a gun during commission of a crime and disrupting public school.
But what could drive a seemingly normal and popular teacher to bring a gun to school? No one knows.
He does not have a criminal record, and he did not have problems with any of his students or colleagues that anyone was aware of. It’s unclear if he acted the way he did to make a point or if he’s actually mentally stable.
“Sure, they can go through background checks and make sure they’re mentally stable, but things can happen,” Chondi said. “You never know what can cause someone to break. Mr. Davidson seemed completely fine. He was nice and funny and a great teacher. He hadn’t committed a crime. You never know what’s going on inside a person’s head.”
So it’s time to rethink our solutions to this recurring problem. The school system is one that I simply can no longer trust to keep my child safe, and this incident is just another example of why. There needs to be action and it needs to be now because it’s just a matter of time before another person fires shots at a school.
Do you think that teachers should be armed? Let us know!
I don’t know if he was trying to make a point or if he is just off his rocker. All I want is for our kids to be safe at school.