For students of color, guns in classrooms could be deadly.
How long would it be, if Trump’s plan became reality, before a teacher shoots a black student and then invokes the “I feared for my life” defense
.. Most high-profile mass shootings have been committed by white men, but metal detectors, school police and armed guards are disproportionately placed in public schools with majority black and other nonwhite students, along with locked gates, random sweeps, and a host of other surveillance and security measures to maintain control in their schools
.. Research shows that such practices foster hostile environments that have contributed to racial disparities in school suspensions, expulsions and arrests leading to the “school-to-prison pipeline,” by pushing more students of color out of school and into the juvenile justice system.
.. black students were disproportionately likely to be referred to school resource officers or arrested — they made up 16 percent of total enrollment but 27 percent of students referred to resource officers and 31 percent of students arrested in school-related matters.
.. White students, who were 51 percent of the total, accounted for only 41 percent of resource officer referrals and 39 percent of arrests.
.. “implicit bias” on the part of teachers often means young black males in schools are seen as “irresponsible, dishonest and dangerous.”
.. many teachers, especially young white women, are afraid of their black students.
.. white students are punished differently from their black counterparts for the same offenses.
.. “By playing into this armed teacher agenda, we are setting up our at-risk students, especially our black and brown students, as targets for the pipeline as well as actual physical targets of teachers’ bullets. It is insanity driven by greed, prejudice and privilege.”
.. “arming white teachers would be like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. In many cases, the little cultural nuances in black kids are often foreign to white teachers.
.. Black assertiveness is seen as black hostility to white teachers, as opposed to the teachers recognizing that it is a strength in the black student.
.. I fear that when black students stand up for themselves, white teachers will interpret that as the students attacking them.”
.. Davis also fears that any black or Latino teachers who carry weapons to “protect” students would wind up being shot by police during an active-shooter crisis in their schools.
.. Twitter, they used the #ArmMeWith hashtag to list more important priorities:
- smaller classrooms,
- improved textbooks,
- adequate supplies and
- more resources for students with challenges.
.. This is about protecting the narrative that white suburban schools are places of safety and preserving the idea that violence is elsewhere, that black and Latino youth represent danger.
.. “My biggest fear and disappointment is that I think many students and families of color would simply opt out of public education if arming teachers were to be enacted,”
.. The fear would be absolutely legitimate, but disengagement would further divide us so much further. It would lead to a setback like never before in the movements for civil rights and human rights.”