School Shootings on the Mind of Future Teachers

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The deadly Florida school shooting remains on the minds of many people, especially future teachers.

President Donald Trump is pushing to allow teachers to carry guns to save lives.

“They’re going to have to decide if this is something they’re willing to take on as a teacher,” said Dr. A.J. Shirey, Professor and Coordinator for Teacher Education at Northwest Arkansas Community College.

University of Arkansas asst. professor of Science Education, Stephen Burgin, completely changed his agenda the day after the school shooting. 

“It just didn’t feel right doing anything but talking about the situation and what life would be like for them as a future teacher,” said Burgin.

Burgin had his students listen to testimonies of Parkland instructors. Then posed the question: “what’s now the most important thing as a teacher?”

Burgin said, “Is it teaching math and science? Or is it somewhat also getting to know your students enough that you care for them and make sacrifice if you had to?”

Megan Medford, a sophomore at the U of A, said this won’t deter her from her passion to teach math.

“It’s definitely scary, but I don’t think it’s ever impacted me in a way that I don’t want to be a teacher because that one kid is the one who needs to be loved on the most,” said Medford.

Thursday, President Donald Trump recommended making it law to allow teachers to carry guns.

Medford doesn’t think that will fix our nation’s problem.

“I think it could just as easily be a teacher in that students position that goes crazy,” said Medford.  “The solution isn’t to arm all teachers. There are some teachers with mental illnesses.”

Burgin is worried if something isn’t done soon, lack of teachers could become an ever bigger issue.

“They’re underpaid. Unvalued. And over blamed. And now you’re going to add on top of that now you’re going to add a fear of going into your work environment,” explained Burgin.

But for Medford, she said nothing will get in the way of her desire to change the lives of the next generation of kids. 

“It would take a lot, maybe this, to deter you from wanting to be a teacher but I feel like a lot of teachers have that love for students like I do,” said Medford.

The Trump said he’ll work with congress to draft a school safety plan, and continue to seek input from everyone including students and teachers.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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