In the wake of yet another tragic school shooting, teachers have started an eye-opening movement on social media to let the world know what preventative measures really need to be taken seriously to protect students.
In response to the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers receive gun training so they can be armed in their classrooms. But rather than adding more guns to educational environments, teachers are using the hashtag #ArmMeWith to share far more peaceful resources they wish to be armed with, such as school supplies, mental health resources and funding, impactful changes in curriculum, and stronger gun control legislation.
The movement was started by two educators: Brittany Wheaton, a teacher in Utah, and Olivia Bertels from Kansas. Both 27-year-olds met through Instagram, according to Buzzfeed, and eagerly asked the online teacher community to share their personal thoughts on how to ensure the safety and proper education of students.
Teachers across the U.S. have been using the hashtag.
One high school English teacher requested a "curriculum that tells the truth, the ability to teach the truth, a society that believes the truth, and political leaders who make laws based on the truth."
Others asked to be armed with more on-site mental health professionals, like school counselors and social workers, as well as self-care classes, bullet-proof glass, an enhanced library, and a range of other resources that focus on the physical, mental, and emotional care of students and faculty members.
This is a movement that I can 100% get on board with. If you’ve heard me talk about my class size the last couple years, you will not be surprised that this is one of my hot button issues. In the mind of children, negative attention is still attention, and I believe that as we raise class sizes, overload teachers, and cut support, we will continue to see major behavioral, social, and emotional issues rise to unparalleled levels. I think that reaching out to educators about ways that we can be PROactive, not reactive, in the education world to reduce violence of any kind is absolutely one of the best places to start making a change! . . . . . #ArmMeWith #RealTalk #IssuesInEducation #iTeach2nd #iTeach3rd #TeacherLife #TeachersOfInstagram #TeacherCommunity #TargetTeachers
A post shared by Kelly Bates (@buildingbrilliance) on
It isn’t enough to teach our children how to read. They need to learn how to deal with the complex emotions facing them + have access to mental health services. We need to remove the stigma - not just for our students/their families, but ourselves too. #ArmMeWith this, not a gun. pic.twitter.com/YEEN8htZPW
— Sarah Plum(itallo) (@sarahplumitallo) February 21, 2018
"Since teachers are the individuals in the classroom when it happens, I like to think we know what's best for our students," Wheaton told Buzzfeed. "If you're an educator, you know that [more guns] is not a solution to stopping the violence that's happening in our schools."
For those looking to participate in the movement, Wheaton has shared a blank #ArmMeWith template that can be downloaded and filled out.