Editorial: State dead wrong arming teachers

A recent editorial by the Sandusky Register:

On Monday Gov. Mike DeWine signed into a law a bill approved by lawmakers that will allow school districts to arm teachers.

This is what it’s come to: The place where we send our children now has the potential to become an armed compound because large pockets of our nation value the right to easily buy and carry a weapon of war — assault rifles — more than we value common sense.

On May 24, 19 fourth-graders and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The assault rifle the 18-year-old gunman used — which he was legally able to purchase — was so destructive that the small bodies of his victims were torn to shreds by his rapid fire. Parents were asked to bring DNA samples to identify their children, or identify them by the clothing they were wearing.

One parent identified her daughter by the green Converse shoes on her small feet.

The gunman would have had a harder time obtaining a driver’s license than he had obtaining that weapon.

In this action, our state legislature is showing a void of common sense and decency. The timing is rotten, approving arming teachers less than a week so soon after the massacre, paying no respect to families of the killed, or to families in general, that have kids attending public schools. They approved this legislation devoid of thoughtful debate, consideration of alternatives and no valid research to back up their votes.

This is a craven response that puts families, teachers and school administrators in a tough position in a similar fashion to the legislation approved earlier this year making it easier to carry concealed weapons.

This is the most egregious response to tragedy to date. If the collective reaction of lawmakers — and our governor — is to arm school teachers then they have lost touch with what Ohioans want and what parents want. It is a ferocious assault on public education, that leaves the last remaining wall of defense as local school boards and parents.

We’ve aided in inflicting damage upon our children, from Columbine, to Newtown to Parkland to Uvalde through passive compliance to the unreasonable demands of gun manufacturers and their associated lobby and organizations.

School board members and parents should fight to keep teachers focused on teaching and to convince lawmakers and the governor to see the bigger picture and not engage in what amounts to an arms race.

— Sandusky Register, June 14