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Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Should parents, teachers and other personnel be able to carry a concealed weapon in a school?

Recently, legislation was passed in Michigan that gives people the ability to carry a concealed weapon in a school, hospital, church and other open areas (stadiums, shopping malls,etc.). Proponents say the legislation requires those carrying a license to have increased training and that this law would increase public safety. Opponents, say adding the opportunity for an increase in weapons in places that should be the most safe, such as schools, hospitals and churches is a bad idea will lead to something tragic.

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  • Dec 28 2012: I was in education for close to 30 years. I have taught all over the country. I have taught to extreme demographics, from the most rich in the country to the absolute poorest. I have taught in urban settings. I have a Ph.D. in education and post doctoral work in cognitive and educational psychology, as well as in educational leadership. I also have served as a worship minister, have done service work with at-risk children, and, when younger, worked with police as a security guard for Wells Fargo and in a major metro mall.
    I am not trying to persuade by authority, however, I write about myself because I think my experience might entitle me to have something to say about the issue.
    1. There is something to be said, from a moral - or at least ethical - perspective, when giving in to the fatalistic idea that guns are needed to protect us from one another even places that are supposed to be the among the most safe in our society.
    2. From a practical perspective, having teachers - who have gone to school to teach and not to act as police or paramilitary - carry concealed weapons affects our children's world view in a negative way. We are teaching our children that the only way to feel safe is to be packing - not what I want to teach MY children.
    3. From a practical perspective, do you think that a teacher carrying a handgun, under the stress of any situation similar to what recently happened, is going to be very effective against a fully armed and possibly armored gunman or gunmen?

    Malls and other open public places,, possibly. Schools, churches and other places of traditional haven from the world, absolutely not. Let us keep some of these places to the peace lovers of the world, and to the dreamers of dreams, and to the hope in the mystery of faith that passes all understanding..

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