Bumped from late last night … Rosi
I want to amplify something in today’s news, an opinion piece at the Ledger by guest writer Ronen Kauffman: I’m a N.J. school teacher: Arming us is a grotesque idea. Here’s a better option | Opinion
Now, I’ve known Ronen a long time. Of all the circles Blue Jersey has, of allies, writers and friends, Ronen has always been in the tightest, most trusted one. In the Christie years, with public education under assault by tycoons itchy to run state-funded schools they don’t send their own kids to, well-intentioned do-gooders who haven’t bothered to study educational theory, and politicians who disdain educators, two good guys have helped navigate us past the nonsense. They are Jersey Jazzman and Ronen; Ronen in perhaps a more backstage way.
The president is wrong. Let us not harden our schools. Instead, let us soften the world. – Kauffman
Ronen’s a teacher. He is responsible for some of the tenderest little people at his school in Jersey City. He takes their needs seriously, they depend on him in their hours away from home. He also has a child, a thoughtful boy, whose time at school matters, same as any parent. I’ve never had the chance to observe Ronen at work, but I’ve watched him brief policymakers about how children learn. He’s thought a great deal about his students, what has to happen in the classroom. And he knows what can’t happen.
Donald Trump’s response to the Parkland school shooting and the cultural shift on guns that teenagers are now driving is the lame proposal that teachers be armed. There are so many reasons why that’s unworkable. You already know some of them (though the NYPD statistic Ronen quotes is a cold slap and a reason I hadn’t considered). But the reasons why it’s wrong are far bigger than it simply wouldn’t work.
Frankly, dead-on as his Ledger piece is, I think Ronen buried the lede. As well-reasoned as the bulk of it is, the beauty part comes at the end. Donald Trump has no ideas here past selling more guns. Ronen has better ideas. We owe these kids something more than a gun and a teacher ready to shoot.