Nets Fearmonger Over Teachers With Guns in Schools

On Wednesday evening, the CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News both seized on a few instances of school teachers — a tiny number out of more than three million teachers nationally — who accidentally fired guns in schools as the networks tried to undermine the push for training some teachers to carry guns.

CNN’s Early Start earlier in the day also hyped one of the California story as anchors Dave Briggs and Christine Romans also marveled over a gun control group placing 7,000 shoes on the Capitol Lawn to commemorate gun-related child deaths.

Referring to gun accidents in California and in Virginia, NBC host Lester Holt talked up the “outrage” over the incidents: “With school safety and the debate over arming teachers in the headlines, outrage is erupting over two incidents in our nation’s schools that could have easily turned deadly.”

After correspondent Miguel Almaguer began his report by informing viewers that a teacher in California with law enforcement experience accidentally shot a gun into the ceiling, causing minor injuries to three students from fragments, the NBC reporter then showed a soundbite of an unidentified man dismissing the idea of arming teachers: “We’re talking about arming teachers, and the security personnel that are trained can’t seem to make it work.”

Almaguer then recounted the case of a teacher in Alexandria, Virginia, who accidentally fired a gun in his office without even injuring anyone. Then came a soundbite of school superintendent Lois Berlin fretting over the possibility of arming teachers: “When we talk about arming teachers, that’s what worries me because we had this happen with someone who is a highly trained officer.”

The NBC correspondent then ominously concluded: “Coast to coast, students put in danger by the very people in charge of their safety.”

On the CBS Evening News, host Jeff Glor included the California case in the opening tease: “Also tonight, three California high school students are injured when a teacher accidentally fires a weapon.”

As he introduced the report, Glor warned that the California case was not “an isolated incident.” Correspondent Mireya Villareal began by recalling the California case before moving to that in Virginia. She then brought up a third case from a couple of weeks ago in which a school teacher with a mental disorder was arrested for firing a gun in his classroom. She then fretted: “Incidents like these come amid calls to arm teachers in schools nationwide.”

On the same day’s Early Start, CNN anchors Briggs and Romans also brought up the California story in a brief after they recalled the liberal anti-gun group protesting in D.C.

Notably, a few weeks ago, when ABC and FNC both gave substantial attention to the case of two women who were caught on video using guns to defend themselves from an armed robbery, CBS, NBC and CNN all seemed uninterested in showing viewers an example of how beneficial a gun can be to fight off a criminal as they completely ignored the story.

In fact, all one has to do is visit websites like or, or just do a Google search to find many recent local reports of people who have used guns to defend themselves from home invasions, robberies, sexual assaults, and other crimes all over the country. There are even recent cases of armed citizens rescuing lone police officers who were being overpowered by criminals — one in Jacksonville, Florida, and one in Springfield, Utah.

Other notable cases are women fighting off sex offenders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Blakely, Georgia.

There’s even a man in Oswego, Illinois, who used an AR-15 to defend his neighbors from a knife attack. 

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Trump Announces Support For Arming Teachers, Backpedals On Gun Purchase Age

The White House announced support Sunday for firearms training for some teachers to protect schools, and has backed off an earlier call by President Donald Trump to raise the age individuals can purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21.

The series of proposals generally fall in line with what the National Rifle Association supports in the wake of the massacre last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.

On Monday morning, Trump reiterated the proposals in a series of tweets. He defended his plan to allow “highly trained expert teachers” in schools, also saying that “armed guards [are] OK,” calling them a “deterrent!”

Regarding raising the minimum gun purchase age to 21, he deferred to state lawmakers, claiming that there is “not much political support (to put it mildly).” The NRA opposes the measure.

The nation’s largest teachers lobby, the National Education Association, is adamantly opposed to Trump and the NRA’s controversial initiative to arm teachers. An armed teacher in Georgia last month fired his handgun after he barricaded himself in a high school classroom, where he was eventually arrested by police. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre touted arming teachers in a speech last month to the Conservative Political Action Conference. The White House plan would involve funding to provide weapons training for teachers.

Trump’s apparent reversal from proposing to raise the age young people can buy military assault-style weapons like the AR-15 that was used in the Parkland school shooting is a startling turnaround. It comes just weeks after he taunted legislators, saying that they were “afraid of the NRA,” while he was not. Trump specifically asked Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) if the senator had left raising the minimum age for gun purchases out of his bill strengthening background checks because senators “are afraid of the NRA.” 

Last month, Trump said in a meeting with legislators: “Now, this is not a popular thing to say, in terms of the NRA. But I’m saying it anyway. You can’t buy [a handgun until] until you’re 21. But you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. I think it’s something you have to think about.”

On Friday, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott — a longtime NRA member — signed a bill into law raising the minimum age for all gun purchase from 18 to 21. But the NRA almost immediately sued to block the law and protect the “constitutional rights” of would-be gun buyers under the age of 21. The state’s controversial “guardian program” — opposed by the Florida Education Association — will allow some school employees and teachers to carry handguns with law enforcement training if a school district agrees to participate in the program.

The White House guns plan also includes support for a bill, known as the “Fix NICS” measure, designed to improve background checks for gun purchases. But it does not contain universal background checks, which would be far more effective. 

“Fix NICS” is a bill sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to bolster the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by improving the flow of information into it from states and various federal agencies. But the measure is far less ambitious than universal background checks, which would include private sales, such as those that often occur at gun shows.

The White House announced that the president is establishing a federal commission on school safety, to be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, that will explore possible solutions to school shootings. It may consider the age young people can purchase guns, the Washington Post reported Sunday. But nothing in the current White House proposals address raising the minimum age for buyers.

DeVos called the proposals a “pragmatic plan” to increase school safety, the Post reported.

Several Democrats slammed the proposals. “This plan is weak on security and an insult to the victims of gun violence,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said in a statement. “When it comes to keeping our families safe, it’s clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are all talk and no action.”


For more news videos visit Yahoo View.

This story has been updated with Trump’s tweets on Monday morning.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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9 Buddhist Teachers Share Their Opinion On Trump’s Presidency

BLuke Miller Truth Theory

Donald Trump has really shaken up politics and the world in general, firstly he won a race in which he was ruled out from the start, then he has continually hit the headlines for his outspoken opinions and actions. Regardless of your thoughts on Trump, 2 things that have happened as a result of his presidency is shock and change. It is relative if you think this is a good thing, a bad thing or a mixture of the 2, but it has shaken the world.

The opinions included in this article are not ours, but the perspective of 9 Buddhist teachers compiled from website Lions Roar.

Pema Chödrön

“During difficult times like this, I’m feeling that the most important thing is our love for each other and remembering to express that and avoid the temptation to get caught in negative and aggressive thinking. Instead of polarizing, this is a chance to stay with the groundlessness. I’ve been meditating and getting in touch with a deep and profound sadness. It’s hard to stay with that much vulnerability but that’s what I’m doing. Groundlessness and tenderness and sadness have so much to teach us. I’m feeling that it’s a time to contact our hearts and to reach out and help in anyway we can.”

Norman Fischer, Everyday Zen Foundation

“I usually don’t completely believe what I think, so when Trump won the election I was, like everyone else, surprised, but not that surprised. Bodhisattvas are committed to their practice, which means to sit, to get up, and to sweep the garden — the whole world, close in and far away — every day, no matter what. They have always done this, they always will. Good times, bad times, they keep on going just the same. Bodhisattvas play the long game. They have confidence in the power of goodness over time. And they know that dark times bring out the heroic in us.

For those older among us who hold liberal and progressive political views, let’s not forget we survived Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. It wasn’t pleasant but we survived. We will survive Trump. This is not to say that the policies of those presidents weren’t bad, and that they did not make any lasting impact. They were and they did. Still, we survived. We will survive Trump. As of today, we don’t really know what will happen under Trump because nothing he has said so far means much. He seems not to have much commitment to his own words.

We have been fortunate to have had eight years with a decent, intelligent, thoughtful and caring human being in the White House. This is more we would have expected. Lets not forget that the same people who elected Obama elected Trump.

It’s OK to freak out, grieve, and vent for a while. Holds each others’ hands. Then we can get back to work, as always, for the good.

Think of what the Dalai Lama has gone through in his lifetime. He maintains daily practice, he maintains kindness for everyone, though he has lost his country and his culture at the hands of a brutal regime. Yet he doesn’t hate the Chinese and finds redeeming features in them. He maintains his sense of humor. He has turned his tragedy into a teaching for the world.

Lets do the same.”

Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo

“We are all reeling from the election news. For most of us, it is unexpected and frightening. Naturally, we ask ourselves what teaching can support us and empower us at this time. I think of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion who “hears the sounds of the world.”

And I realize how vital it is for all of us to listen to all the sounds of this unhappy nation. What suffering has led to the anger and hatred that has arisen? And, why are so many of us surprised at this outpouring? Perhaps we have not been listening to the cries of the world with ears of wisdom and determination.

This we must do, listen carefully, and while listening, we must move with determination to organize, to mobilize, and to find new ways to create change in civil rights, climate change, media ethics, and to inform and enlighten all the people, so that we can in fact relieve suffering and care for this planet, these peoples, all of us.”

Noah Levine, Against The Stream

“Here in the United States of Samsara ignorance is the status quo. The Buddha’s teachings guide us to go “against the stream” to develop wisdom and compassion through our own direct actions. As the path encourages, “Even amongst those who hate, we live with love in our hearts. Even amongst those who are blinded by greed and confusion, we practice generosity, kindness and clear seeing.”

Meditate and Destroy!”

Ethan Nichtern, Shambhala Meditation Center of New York

“When I was a child in New York City, I used to imagine that I lived in an island off the coast of America which was neither part of the continent nor the country. In the middle of the night last night, that childhood fantasy came back to me, but it was only wishful thinking. In fact, the source of all this disruption hails from the same city, which is a great reminder that we are all connected. I am a citizen of the mainland United States and I remain a very proud and patriotic one.

Right now my mindfulness practice is dedicated to my many friends who are expressing such unbearable hurt and fear at the hatred and abuse which this current version of America has directed at them. My many friends who are women, People of Color, members of the LGBT community, immigrants, and non-Christians are all rightfully expressing their fear and traumas right now, and I want to especially be there for them.

Soon, perhaps, I will try to make contact with those I know who voted for this outcome and do my best to listen to their fears and desires as well. I have no idea how that will go but I will do my best.

I also feel at least some optimism that this outcome sharpens and clarifies where humanity stands in the 21st-century. All of us must come together with empathy and connection if we are going to survive this era.

Tomorrow I will try to follow the lead of those whose vision I trust to see how I can help move our world forward with compassion. But today, it is OK to grieve the fact that we have taken a massive emotional and spiritual step backwards. Please remember, the point of meditation is not to suppress your feelings. It is to make friends with yourself. On days like this, meditation is simply a way to remember a glimmer of your own basic goodness. Please remember it is OK to feel exactly what you feel.

In loving kindness and solidarity with the human race, Ethan.”

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, Still Breathing Zen Meditation Center

“Today, after the 2016 elections in the U.S., we are living out the example of what happens when what goes unacknowledged surfaces and it feels like a new reality but you know in your heart it is not. To suffer based on expectations is to live haunted and hunted. But we are fortunate. There could be no other answer to our meditation and prayers in dissolving hatred than to be placed front and center with it and be exposed. When a shift in a system has occurred, especially one that causes fear and discomfort, it allows for something strikingly different to appear, furthering our evolution as people. We can only know where we are going when we get there.

Many of us have been practicing Buddha’s teachings or walking a spiritual journey forever and preparing for every moment of our existence. We are ready and have been waiting for this time. Our rage, pain, and anger are to be exposed if only for us to transform and mature with it. In Buddhist practice we say congratulations because now is the time we have been practicing for. No more just practicing the dance. We must now dance. And this is not a dress rehearsal.”

Roshi Joan Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

“Standing at the edge of this election, it’s clear we have our work cut out for us. It is the work of love and wisdom in the face of the terrible suffering of war, environmental issues, racism, gender violence, and economic injustice. We have to work together to shift the tide toward what will benefit our children, the natural world, the future. Part of this means that we have to change the mind, move out of harsh negativity, eroding futility and fear, and build toward the good and the wise. We also have to work to shift the mood of the country and of the world through compassionate education, deep practice, and service to others.

Let’s reach through differences, listen deeply, and “give no fear.”

So please, stop and look deeply, and let’s work together in not building a contentious future, but a generative one. And let’s not pretend we know, but be open and learn; let’s bear witness to what is happening in our country, in our world, and take wise, compassionate, and courageous responsibility. Let’s reach through differences, listen deeply, and “give no fear.”

Here are the four great vows of the Bodhisattvas in community:

Creations are numberless, we vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, we vow to transform them.

Reality is Boundless, we vow to perceive it.

The awakened way is unsurpassable, we vow to embody it.

…. do not squander life!”

James Ishmael Ford, Boundless Way Zen

“I rather feel like I’ve awakened on the day after the apocalypse. As a member of the progressive community I am shocked and profoundly saddened by Trump’s campaign, which unapologetically appealed to fear of, if not outright hatred of pretty much all others. He casually insulted anyone not precisely like him, and frankly seemed to be little more than an incarnation of America’s Id. And, whatever I think of him and that campaign, while he in fact does not seem to have won a majority of America’s voters over, he did win the Electoral College and with that the election.

So, what now? I find a couple of emotions rising within my heart. One is to flee. I understand Canada’s immigration website crashed due to the number of visits to it last night. Of course that also represents all the privilege I bring along with being white and male and middle class. And beyond those immediate facts, I am cautioned by the Buddha’s “last temptation,” to take the peace and equanimity he found and to retire from the world. While he was a renunciant, he did not retire away from the world, but rather brought his monastic practice into the larger community, and continued to live and teach among people living in the world. The deeper point to this is that we are in fact made up of the world and there is no escape.

The other emotion racing over my heart has been to place blame, mostly on others, but also on myself. What would have been a better, or more skillful, simply put, more successful strategy? Who is responsible for this mess? And what shortcomings are at fault? These are in fact important things to consider, particularly those relevant to our own individual hearts, but to take a necessary step and make it what we’re about would be just one more mistake on a long list of mistakes. In this world we have to make decisions and some large percentage of them will be wrong. I’m ever mindful of our popular Western adaptation of something Eihei Dogen said, “one continuous mistake.”

So, what to do? What to do?

For me I find a couple of things are critical. One is to not forget my practice. Taking time and returning to the pillow is critical. For all sorts of reasons, but most of all to help me recall the fundamental matters of presence and intimacy.

The bottom line is recalling there is no separation. Another is to recall all the suffering of the world. For me this starts with those who are terrorized by the event, the immigrant, the person of color, the GBLT person, women, everyone who seems themselves the target of Mr Trump’s campaign of purity. But, also, to recall the hurt and fear that led so many people to support him. To simply dismiss their emotions by cavalier broad struck condemnations, while it feels good, and I do like doing that, ultimately does no good. The Buddha was right in the great play of cause and effect we are all of us caught up in layer upon layer of grasping after things in flux.

For me the bottom line is recalling there is no separation. We have to act. There is no alternative. But, what will that action look like? More hate? More blame and condemnations? Or, can we genuinely recall there is in the last analysis no goal, but only the path? I think, feel, believe, if we can recall that last thing, we are all of us in this together, we are all of us, at the end, one; well, then ways through will appear.

We met the enemy and he is us. We met the friend and he is us. That is the secret that will win the ultimate victory.”

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

“On this cheerful unaffected glorious day of democracy playing itself out, I am as shocked as many of you are by the election results. But, as Americans, we must respect the democratic system that our country was built upon, and welcome its results. Trump has won, and now we must see what happens next. While firmly believing in, and defending, one’s values and principles, we must also give this new president-elect the benefit of the doubt, and be open to see what he and his new administration can do for the good of our country. We want to honor the voice of many and trust in the goodness of the country. We want to respect our differences and also believe that there is goodness in everyone. We cannot afford to fall into pessimism. We must continually see where we can unite and keep looking forward together as this new era unfolds, without fixed pre-concepts.”

Image Credit1: Copyright: Wikipedia

Image Credit2: Copyright: lisastrachan / 123RF Stock Photo

I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here

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West Virginia Governor Tells Striking Teachers To Get Back In The Classroom

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) told his state’s striking teachers they “need to be back in the classroom” as he spoke at a series of town halls on Monday.

Speaking and taking questions in Wheeling, Martinsburg and Morgantown throughout the day, Justice urged the state’s educators to end their strike Tuesday and promised he’d establish a task force in the next seven to 10 days to look into some of their concerns.

“I love you … but I’m not happy with you. You should be appreciative of where you are,” Justice said to teachers in Wheeling.

“You need to be back in the classroom,” he said. “The kids need to be back in the classroom.”

The comments come days after Justice faced criticisms that he’s missing in action at the state Capitol. His administration has denied a Freedom of Information Act request to view his calendars and appointment books.

The teachers will continue their strike on Tuesday, despite Justice’s request, union leaders announced at a Monday rally at the Capitol.

West Virginia’s 20,000 teachers have been on strike since Thursday, after Justice offered them a 2 percent pay increase starting this summer, followed by 1 percent increases in 2020 and 2021. But the teachers, who ranked 48th in teacher pay across the U.S. in 2016, say that’s not enough to cover their rising costs of living. Many teachers have reported that they’ve had to take second jobs and yet still live paycheck-to-paycheck with their current salaries. 

Another major concern is that premiums for the state’s employee health plan will rise next year if the state doesn’t fill a $39 million shortfall.

“In West Virginia, we know they weren’t known for having high salaries, but they were known for good health insurance,” Don Scalise, a government and history teacher at Cabell Midland High School, told HuffPost last week. “That used to be something to attract people. Now that’s eroding.”

Justice said at the town halls Monday that his task force would try to address the insurance issue.

He also said he’d like to hold a special session to look into raising the severance tax on oil and gas producers in the state by 2.5 percent, something both sides agree could cover better pay and benefits for teachers, he said. That higher tax could be added as a condition in a bill currently moving through the state’s legislature.

Justice also caught flak for his choice of opening words during the town hall at Spring Mills High School in Martinsburg.

“OK, everybody. Nobody’s going to shoot at me or anything, are you?” he asked the crowd, just over a week after a gunman killed 17 students and adults at a high school in Parkland, Florida. 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Pilots Are Armed, Why Not Teachers?

Chad Robichaux, a former special agent with the U.S. Federal Air Marshall Service, has been here before. Objections to arming pilots following the Islamic terror attacks on September 11, 2001 were the same as those being raised against arming teachers. Said Robichaux on Breitbart News Tonight last Thursday: “Well, you trust them [pilots] flying your airplane. So now people are saying, ‘We can’t trust teachers with firearms.’ We trust them with our children!”

Robichaux worked with the Federal Air Marshall Service in developing and implementing the pilot training program launched following the 9/11 attacks and said that the present hostility toward arming teachers is the same that was voiced against the arming of pilots.

Prior to 9/11, airplanes were in essence “gun free” zones, an inviting target for terrorists:

It just seems to make perfect sense. If you make some place a “gun-free zone,” that is automatically a target for people [who] want to do evil and start killing people.

You’re basically announcing that we are not armed and taking away any element of surprise that a place might have if a shooter goes in.

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There’s also the advantage of immediate response to such an attack if some among the shooter’s targets are armed: “These shootings go down at these schools in an average of three minutes, and it takes up to eight minutes for law enforcement to respond, and that’s eight minutes too late.”

But the objections to arming pilots are the same as those raised against arming teachers:

• The mere presence of firearms in the classroom [airplane] automatically makes schools [airplanes] less safe;

• Teachers would rather teach than defend their students;

• Firearms could be stolen, or misused, or go off by accident;

• Teachers might kill or maim an innocent student during a firefight with an attacker;

• Students might get upset in the presence of firearms;

• Even trained police officers have trouble aiming their weapons during such a firefight; teachers would likely suffer the same trouble;

• The plan would be so costly that many districts couldn’t afford it;

• The plan would require teachers to become police officers;

• When law enforcement finally does arrive, it could mistake teachers for the terrorist; and

• Teachers are so busy teaching that they wouldn’t be able to handle the additional responsibility.

Laura Carno, the executive director of (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response), thinks most of these objections are false or distort reality. First, teachers wouldn’t be required to carry if they don’t want to. Under present programs the district asks for volunteers and finds that the response far exceeds their needs. Second, the teachers and staff would be carrying concealed, virtually eliminating any concern that a student’s tender sensibilities might be offended over the presence of a firearm.

The mere presence of a firearm doesn’t translate into higher risk to innocents but lower. Just ask John Lott, the author of More Guns, Less Crime, in which he has tracked the growth in the private ownership of firearms with the parallel reduction in gun violence over the past two decades.

Many teachers already carry concealed while away from school, while eight states allow them to carry on campus as well. Another six states are considering such legislation.

Teachers, whether they carry concealed or not, are insulted by the idea that they couldn’t become competent in the safe carrying and handling of firearms. As a graduate of FASTERColorado’s training program, Carno saw, “No one is suggesting they be made into police officers. Authorized school staffers are extremely well trained in stopping an active killer, and [further] in stopping the bleeding for those who have been injured. Both of these skill sets save lives.”

Carno agrees that, during a shooting, time is of the essence, and that the vast majority of these mass shootings are over before law-enforcement officers arrive on the scene. In addition she said, “[Teachers and] staffers are trained on how to account for potential confusion in the 911 call, and how to advise law enforcement who the armed defender is. Schools that have armed staff already talk to their local law enforcement to advise them just who on campus is armed.”

In light of the reluctance of an armed sheriff’s deputy on duty at the high school in Parkland, Florida, to enter the building and confront the shooter, Carno said that having teachers and staff armed in addition to such outside protection “is better than no one being armed.”

As far as not being able to hit the target during the chaos of an attack, Carno reminded readers that “most of these killers commit suicide when confronted with an armed defender, without a shot being fired,” adding that “any chance to stop him is better than no chance.”

What about complaints that such a program will cost millions to implement? Carno pointed out that private groups have been raising money and funding part of those costs already. These groups include her own, FASTERColorado, FASTERSavesLives in Ohio, and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation. Also, schools regularly pay more money to teachers for taking on extracurricular duties, such as coaching or directing plays, and this would simply be one more extracurricular duty.

How much more federal involvement would there be in the implementation of such a program? President Trump, under attack from pro-Second Amendment groups for pushing a ban on “bump stocks,” supporting raising the purchase age for rifles, and expanding and making more robust the unconstitutional background check system, got this part right. He tweeted:

Armed Educators (and trusted people who work within a school) love our students and will protect them. Very smart people. Must be firearms adept & have annual training. Should get yearly bonus. Shootings will not happen again — a big & very inexpensive deterrent. Up to States.

Up to the states, indeed. Let each school board decide on its own whether or how to implement such a program. The very last thing needed in efforts to thwart future attacks is more federal mandates, rules, and regulations.


An Ivy League graduate and former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Trump Proposes Teachers Carry; Opponents Push Back

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‘Nonsensical’: CNN’s Lemon Attacks Teachers Who Want to Carry Guns

CNN Tonight
February 26, 2018
10:19:27 PM Eastern


BEN FERGUSON: And look, clearly, I don’t think it’s right for anyone to say teachers can’t be capable of carrying a weapon. I’ve talked to first-grade teachers literally the last week who have called into my show and said they want to be able to carry guns. Not all teachers. It’s something that shouldn’t be mandated to do, of course not. I never want anyone to have a gun that doesn’t want to. There are a lot of great people that used to be former law enforcement, that used to be former military that are school teachers, coaches, administrators.

And a lot of them have said they would love to be in a position to be able to be a first responder. They’re already giving back by teaching. Why shouldn’t they be able to give back by protecting as well? These people take bullets for these kids. They use their bodies as shields. Why wouldn’t we trust them with an ability to be able to carry a gun? So they go through training.

DON LEMON: Do you know they are teachers or are they just people calling into your radio show?

FERGUSON: I know they’re teachers. I’ve literally met with teachers. Had them come into my studio and talk to them. I had a 63-year-old woman—that I literally talked to yesterday. She’s been teaching for almost 40 years. Her husband’s a police officer. And she said, “I carry a gun every day. Why shouldn’t I be able to take it to class, go through the training that they want me to go through? I’ll volunteer.” She even said she would pay for it herself. If she wants to do that why can we say they can teach kids but somehow they’re not allowed to do this?

LEMON: She’s a 63-year old teacher?

JOAN WALSH: I don’t think I want her packing in the school.

FERGUSON: Why is a 63-year old not capable of carrying a weapon?

WALSH: You know, Ben, I’m going to grant you these people are real that call into your show, but we both have to acknowledge this is a minority of teachers and it’s a minority of parents.

FERGUSON: I don’t need a majority. I need a minority. I need two or three or four or five in a school because one thing we do know about these school shooters is this: all most all of them we have mug shots from. Why? Because they don’t want to get shot.

WALSH: No! Actually, most of them do want to get shot.


WALSH: 40 percent or 50 percent got shot.


FERGUSON: Right, a majority would be 60 percent, 40 percent got shot.


WALSH: And I don’t think teachers need to add that to the things they’re already doing, the cost of a gun to all the pencils and the paper and all the things they’re not even paid for.

FERGUSON: It’s so condescending to assume—

WALSH: I don’t think it’s condescending.

FERGUSON: — that you can think and you can decide for someone else, who again is volunteering. Why does it offend you so much or why do we want to say no to people who say I want to volunteer? If they want to choose for themselves—

WALSH: Because it’s not their role! It’s not their role!

FERGUSON: If five or six of them want it to be their role?


LEMON: You went to school right?


LEMON: Do you want your teachers carrying?

FERGUSON: Absolutely!

LEMON: I wouldn’t want—Let me just say this: I wouldn’t want not one single teacher I had in school carrying a gun.

FERGUSON: You don’t think they were looking out for you?

LEMON: Because when I speak to law enforcement people and speak to actual teachers or people I know are teachers, they don’t know are they carrying it on their person, can a student brush up, they’re breaking up a fight between someone, someone grabs the gun, where do they keep the ammunition.


So for the vast majority of teachers and for people with sense in this country they realize that –

FERGUSON: Do I not have sense?

LEMON: Not on this issue. You’re being nonsensical

FERGUSON: A former law enforcer or former military is a teacher?

LEMON: Let me finish my thought.

FERGUSON: Sure, but to say we don’t have sense also just shows how arrogant people are that are anti-gun.

WALSH: It’s common sense.

LEMON: I don’t mean to offend you but for people who have sense realize—

FERGUSON: I have sense.

LEMON: Okay. – there are too many things that can happen that will go the other way. It’s not worth the risk of someone who is a teacher. Too many people can get hurt.


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West Virginia Teachers Are Making Sure Their Students Get Fed While They're On Strike

Once it became clear West Virginia schools would close for a statewide teacher walkout this week, staffers from Nitro High School came up with a plan to keep hungry students fed while school was out.

The school normally puts out backpacks of free food on Fridays for students to take home for the weekend, leaving them in a few discreet spots so kids in need can grab them without embarrassment. This week, teachers and administrators increased the number of packs and left them out on Wednesday, so kids could make it through the strike on Thursday and Friday, then on through the weekend, without hunger pangs.

“Even when we know a big snow is coming, we [make sure] those kids will get those backpacks,” said Megan Meadows, a counselor at the school, which is in Kanawha County.

The teachers would have caught state officials off guard if they’d walked off the job with little notice. Instead, they announced their two-day walkout five days ahead of time ― in part so that undernourished students wouldn’t be left in the lurch. Roughly 1 child in 4 in the state lives in poverty, one of the highest rates in the country.

“One the reasons that we didn’t just go out overnight was to give people time to plan, to think about this food issue, and to also allow parents time to sort out what they would do with their children for two days,” said Kym Randolph, spokeswoman for the West Virginia Education Association, one of the unions leading the two-day strike. “We tried to make allowances so that no one would go hungry.”

As ABC7 reported, teachers and volunteers filled a gymnasium in Martinsburg ahead of the strike, packing donations from local food pantries to give to students on Wednesday.

“For a lot of our children, the meals they get at school are the only meals they get for the day,” Christine Campbell, president of the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia, told HuffPost.

Teachers and other public employees in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties are taking part in the walkout. Teachers have not seen an across-the-board raise since 2014, and rising health care costs mean that some teachers have actually seen their take-home pay go down. They are demanding salary raises and a fix to the state’s public employee health insurance fund so premiums don’t continue to rise.

For a lot of our children, the meals they get at school are the only meals they get for the day. Christine Campbell, president, American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia

Only three states in the country have lower teacher pay than West Virginia, according to the National Education Association. HuffPost recently spoke to one elementary school teacher who needs to work at Hardee’s on the weekends to cover her family’s bills.

Public-sector employees in West Virginia don’t have the same collective bargaining rights that workers do in most other states. The state’s two teachers unions cannot bargain directly over wages, but instead must lobby the state legislature to pass legislation regarding wages and benefits. They also do not have the explicit right to strike, although they have done so before, most recently in 1990. West Virginia’s attorney general declared this week that any walkouts would be illegal, but as of Thursday night, the state had not filed for a court injunction to order teachers back to work, according to Randolph.

Teachers plan to return to work Monday, but it’s possible the unions will continue with isolated rolling strikes, with certain counties having to shut down schools periodically if teachers’ demands aren’t met. That, in turn, would mean more meal planning.

In addition to packing food bags, Nitro High School staff also collaborated with Cross Lanes Baptist Church to host pizza lunches at the school and the church on Thursday and Friday during the closure. Some students ended up coming out to the church to help feed other students. Members of the church took pizza out to the teachers who were on picket lines.

“We want to make sure the kids are not hungry, and the teachers are appreciated,” said Brandon Carter, associate pastor at the church. “We’re not in the political fray. They’ve made a decision they need to make for their livelihoods. We’re not concerned with that. We’re just letting them know we care about them and support them.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Teachers, take it outside: Study shows student motivation and participation improves outdoors

Image: Teachers, take it outside: Study shows student motivation and participation improves outdoors

(Natural News)
Conducting science classes outdoors rather than within the four corners of a classroom can make the students more motivated to learn and participate, a study has discovered. The study was carried out by a team of researchers from Norway and Germany who looked at the effect of outdoor class setting on the motivational behavior of students.

In the study, about 300 students took part in the program called “researcher weeks,” which was based on the curriculum for science subjects in secondary level I from 2014 to 2016 at the Berchtesgadener Land student research center. The program was aimed to get students excited about the natural sciences. The students were prepared for a week by staying in the classroom. Then, it was continued on-site during the research week, which led to a research expedition with experiments for two days. The students also accomplished a survey on their satisfaction and overall motivation in connection with their autonomy for a study developed at the Technical University of Munich in Germany before and after the course. By the end of the week, they shared once more their experiences during the outdoor class.

According to the research team, basic psychological needs to experience independence, competence, and positive social relationships apply the main influences on motivational behavior. In their study, they found that motivational behavior in both settings was affected to the same extent by these three needs, even though at different levels. Moreover, in the outdoor setting, basic needs were met at a significantly higher level when compared to the classroom setting. In addition, the students felt a sense of achievement and were more motivated in the outdoor classes.

Meanwhile, the relationships of students and teachers or students and their classmates had little or no effect on the increase of motivation. Likewise, gender did not also affect motivation behavior.

The findings of the study suggest that conducting classes outdoors with “explorative” learning methods greatly improves the attitudes of students toward learning, such as increasing their motivation and participation. The researchers defined “explorative” as simply letting the students study the subject matter through independently organized experiments.

“Whether it involves rural study centers away from school or forms a part of the science curriculum, or both, this statistical analysis demonstrates that regular outdoor teaching is an appropriate strategy to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Ulrich Dettweiler, an associate professor at the University of Stavanger in Norway.

Dettweiler added that these models may even help close the gap between science education and environmental education in the long term. This study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Outdoor learning improves children’s development

A 2016 report suggested that outdoor learning can positively influence the development of children, although it needs to be formally adopted. The researchers revealed that children have less opportunities to spend time outside their homes, which could have negative long-term consequences. In the report, they pointed to past studies that showed that with busier family lives, children did not have the chance to explore the natural environment. This negatively affected the children’s social skills, and would possibly restrain their long-term physical and emotional development, and well-being. The researchers suggested that establishing “outdoor learning hub” could prevent and lessen these long-term risks.

“At the moment, if outdoor learning is part of a school’s curriculum in England, it is largely because the teachers recognise the value of it,” said Sue Waite, co-author of the report a reader in outdoor learning at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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Step inside the Texas school district that already arms its teachers

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