A New Jersey school teacher has written a dramatic essay blasting President Donald Trump's call for the arming of teachers, calling it a "grotesque proposal" that would be a "dark step backward" for society.
"For many teachers, the existence of classroom guns would feel anathema to why we chose this work," Ronen Kauffman, who teaches at a Jersey City elementary school, writes in a guest column published in Monday's Newark Star-Ledger newspaper.
"Armed teachers and metal detectors won't address the systemic causes of these shootings — namely, the widespread availability of high powered firearms, and an unchecked gun industry whose lobbyists leave a trail of blood leading out from American classrooms …
"We must defend our children against shooters. But we must also defend them against a mentality that says weapons can solve a society's problems. Our survival as a species depends entirely on rising above fear and violence, not leaning into it."
Kauffman calls the idea that gun violence can be ended with more firearms "the fakest news." He adds: "The president is wrong. Let us not harden our schools. Instead, let us soften the world."
Trump has floated the idea of arming school teachers to help stem the wave of school shootings that continue to plague the nation.
The latest occurred on Feb. 14, when a 19-year-old gunman entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and shot dead 14 children and three adults.
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