Educators around the U.S. are protesting proposals to arm teachers by posting with a hashtag, #ArmMeWith, to ask for more school counselors, books, snacks for hungry students and other things they say schools need rather than guns.
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The hashtag has as of Saturday morning been used about 96,700 times.
The #ArmMeWith posts come after President Donald Trump called this week for arming teachers in the wake of the latest school shooting, the Feb. 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff.
The president said teachers with guns would offer better protection than a security guard who "doesn't love the children." He has also said teachers would be able to respond more quickly than police.
....History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
The nation's teachers' unions swiftly rejected the idea.
, said there was a telephone town hall with 60,000 teachers Wednesday night and "the response was universal, even from educators who are gun owners: teachers don't want to be armed, we want to teach."
"We don’t want to be, and would never have the expertise needed to be, sharpshooters; no amount of training can prepare an armed teacher to go up against an AR-15," Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. "How would arming teachers even work? Would kindergarten teachers be carrying guns in holsters? Is every classroom now going to have a gun closet? Will it be locked? When you have seconds to act when you hear the code for an active shooter, is a teacher supposed to use those seconds getting her gun instead of getting her students to safety?"
Many teachers on social media appeared to agree, using the #ArmMeWith hashtag to oppose the notion of arming educators while highlighting basic resources that they suggest their schools lack.
A Twitter user whose profile says she is a Pittsburgh teacher posted a sign promising "to fight for my students and colleagues. Please "#armmewith the things I need"
Teachers from all around America are joining the #ArmMeWith movement where they are calling to be armed with Books, Empathy, Respect, Time, Smaller Class Sizes, Funding, Resources, Wisdom, Raises......— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) February 24, 2018
......NOT guns. ????pic.twitter.com/MjpvWgnF7V
Another educator says "I would risk my life to save my students but I would never keep a concealed gun in my classroom." Instead, this teacher asks for tissue and paper towels.
I AM A TEACHER. NOT A POLICE OFFICER, NOT A SOLIDER, NOT A BODY GUARD. I would risk my life to save my students but I would never keep a concealed gun in my classroom, nor use it EVER. #ArmMeWith TISSUE & PAPER TOWELS. that’s all, Please & Thank you.— Bri (@Briiilea) February 23, 2018
Some supporters of arming teachers used the #ArmMeWith hashtag to counter critics of the idea. One user named Chuck posted that nothing teachers are saying they want "protects students. What will they do when a shooter is outside their schoolroom door?"
None of what they want protects students— Chuck (@OriginalCherFan) February 24, 2018
What will they do when a shooter is outside their schoolroom door
Only a gun will help
Prove me wrong#ArmMeWith
A woman with the handle @LauraD329 said #ArmMeWith tissues, books, "the same resources the military gets ... DO NOT ARM ME WITH A GUN."
#ArmMeWith— LauraD (@LauraD329) February 24, 2018
*tissues - lots of tissues
*books which grab my students by the heart
*the same resources the military gets
*love, time, patience, and trust
*the ability to inspire my students to stand up for what they believe
DO NOT ARM ME WITH A GUN. #NeverAgain
Another woman who identifies herself as a teacher says "#ArmMeWith my own voice. Educators should make decisions about education, not politicians."
#ArmMeWith my own voice. ??Educators should make decisions about Education, not politicians who have their own agendas.— Anne Connolly (@aconnollysiena) February 24, 2018
One Twitter user identified as a school counselor in San Francisco says she needs lower ratios of counselors to students and better connections to therapists for "my anxious, suicidal & lost kids."
I am a Counselor in SFUSD#ArmMeWith— SFUSD Counselor (@UESFCounselor) February 24, 2018
- nationally recommended student:counselor ratio of250:1(presently at 400:1).
- connections to therapists for my anxious, suicidal & lost kids.
- resources to teach our community members their rights.#sfusd_supe#WeAreSFUSD#SFUSD_HIGH
One educator acknowledges a need for school security but says it should not come for her carrying a gun "around a preschooler."
#armmewith trained security personal to intervene in the case of an emergency. Don’t ask me to carry a gun around a preschooler.— mscool817 (@mscool8171) February 24, 2018
The movement is drawing the attention of some celebrities, such as singer Ricky Davila.