Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee Discusses Arming Educators

Sydney Chaffee was National Teacher of the Year in 2017. She teaches at a K-12 school in Boston and believes guns don’t belong anywhere near a classroom.

“To be armed in the room with my children is — I can’t even imagine it,” she explained. “If we’re training teachers to use guns, that we’re training them to do is to be able to shoot someone who’s coming in with a gun. And in a lot of the school shootings that we’ve seen that person coming in with a gun has been a young person. So, we’re training our teachers to be able to look at young people and see them potentially as someone who we would have to shoot.”

She went on to stated, “This conversation about whether or not to arm teachers is really a distraction. Because the conversation that we really need to be having is so much more complex because it’s about gun violence in our country. The solution to school shootings is not to put more weapons inside of schools, it’s to look at access to weapons everywhere in our society. There’s this movement right now which is really incredible, where our kids are stepping up and they’re advocating and they’re organizing for the changes that they want to see, both in our country and in their schools. And so, this is a moment where we as adults can really decide to pay attention to them.”