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'We have power, teachers have power' Former educator weighs in on armed teachers debate

It's a feeling that never goes away for some teachers.

Posted: Mar. 5, 2018 9:56 PM
Updated: Mar. 5, 2018 10:31 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It's a feeling that never goes away for some teachers.

"We had Code Yellow and Code Red, and they were in place and we had used them. So we knew they worked," said Jane Long, "However, when it happens, and then it happens again, you're always aware that it could be you next."

That same feeling is what led Long to retire early. She was an educator for 34 years.

"I'm still processing Sandy Hook, I'm still processing Columbine," she said, "After Sandy Hook, that was one that just killed me because the 6-year-olds. 6-year-olds absolutely love their teachers, most of them love going to school and then to be murdered, it's awful."

After the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida, arming teachers was a discussion Long says she never saw coming.

"I don't think more guns, in whatever capacity, is the answer," she said.

President Donald Trump made headlines for standing behind the idea of arming teachers following the Florida school shooting. In recent reports, he said by allowing certain school personnel to carry, it could make schools less vulnerable to attack.

At the time of our Twitter poll, majority of voters disagreed with arming teachers. Some suggested maybe having more police on campus would help. 

We also posed the question on Facebook. There, some said yes, but only if it's voluntary and with proper training involved. Others said no, but instead suggested investing in refitting, or creating safe rooms inside classrooms. 

Long says she wants senators and congressmen to decide on a solution banning assault weapons.

"It's so simple, now, let's get rid of the assault weapons. Let's get rid of the extra, extra huge ammunition," she said, "The age thing I'm not so sure about with other kinds of guns because I had a lot of 7th graders who wanted to be hunters. They couldn't wait to take their DNR test, and they ate what they killed, some of them helped their folks. I would never want to deny them that. They were responsible young adults, wonderful students, and it helped them with their studies too because they had something to aim for."

While the recent shooting brings back old feelings for Long, she's hopeful her fellow educators will keep fighting for gun control and school safety.

"We have power, teachers have power," she said, "All we have to do is speak up, and I think we should."

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