'A total distraction': ABQ teacher union head blasts proposal of arming instructors | KOB 4

'A total distraction': ABQ teacher union head blasts proposal of arming instructors

Joy Wang
February 23, 2018 11:21 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – President Donald Trump on Friday once again floated the idea of allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, in the wake of last week's Florida high school shooting that killed 17.


Trump says he believes armed instructors would have stopped the gunman in that incident.

"It's concealed, so this crazy man who walked in wouldn't even know who it is that has it. That's good, it's not bad, that's good," he said. "A teacher would’ve shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened."

But members of New Mexico's largest teacher's union aren't warming up to the proposal. Ellen Bernstein, president of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, said union members believe the idea is "ridiculous."

"They think it's a total distraction of the real issue," Bernstein said. "The real issue is not giving teachers guns – we don't want guns."

Instead, Bernstein said teachers want more funding for textbooks and other school supplies.

"There are so many false assumptions in the false answer of arming teachers, the false assumptions that we want guns, the false assumption that more guns is more safe, the false assumption that I as a second-grade teacher am going to use a gun. Because I am not," she said.

Bernstein says the entire conversation about arming teachers is distracting from a more important debate, one that could spur real change.

"It should be preventable and it's ridiculous that our public schools and our public places are places to fear," she said. "We can't live like this as a society, and I think eventually we have to come to terms as a culture that some change has to happen."

It's change that she says she is already noticing start to happen through the students they teach.

"When we see those students protesting, what I know is they are voters, if not now, then soon," she said. "And eventually they will run for office and they will change the laws that killed their friends."



Joy Wang

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