Monday, January 07, 2013

TN Legislature on the Border of Insanity?

The tragic shooting in Newtown, CT provides at the least an opportunity for discussion and debate about common sense gun laws, mental health issues, and more. Sadly, the talk has drifted into arenas of pop culture, blaming video games and/or movies as some Universal Cause. Or worse, we give serious thought to transforming all that teaching and education have historically meant into a twisted-up worldview of weaponized teaching.

Others in the state are writing and talking about the upcoming legislative "ideas" as several East Tennessee lawmakers are promoting weaponized teachers - a discussion one security expert calls "borderline insanity". More informed education leaders  point out the grave errors in such debate:

"Bowman and Summerford are calling for federal and state dollars to better fund security measures and also for funds for more school counselors, who might help prevent school shootings by recognizing emotional problems in students before they bubble over into violence.

“National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel supports the idea of trained officers in schools, but not arming teachers.

"In a statement from his office, Van Roekel said “haphazardly putting more guns into our schools is the last thing we should be doing to ensure the safety of our students.”

Here's a few other terrible ideas to ponder since terrible ideas are gaining steam:

- Encourage more students to drop out of school. If fewer kids are in school, fewer could be hurt. Or, just eradicate all public education and instead require each child be home-schooled by a heavily armed parent/guardian.

- Require all schools to provide Ninja training for students from Head Start thru college, establishing dojos in every school.

-  Convert all public buildings into underground bunkers, accessible only through a single entrance, which is guarded by robotic machine guns and bio-metric locks.

Bad ideas arrive too easily for some legislators, drown out reasonable discussion and serve no useful function. However, unless we halt the promotion of bad thinking, bad outcomes will flourish.