Friday, March 30, 2012

EDITORIAL >> Has gun, will teach

What must a gun do in the Pulaski County Special School District before a teacher gets fired?

In two separate incidents, guns belonging to staff members have ended up in the hands of students and no one was fired.

Sure, the counselor and two shop teachers in the first incident were suspended with pay until there was an investigation, but eventually all three were back at work.

In a more recent incident, the teacher was suspended, then fired, but then rehired on appeal.

So what does a gun have to do? Actually maim or kill someone?

In the first case, a pair of students found the gun while working on a counselor’s car as part of a shop assignment. These students did the right thing by turning over the gun to the shop teachers, who locked it up for safety and were suspended for their efforts.

In the second incident, the teacher’s gun was taken out of the purse by a student, who may not have harmed anyone with it, but clearly had no intention of giving it back.

The fatal school shootings in Jonesboro and elsewhere can’t be that far removed from our psyche to allow the teachers in these incidents to go unscathed.

Just look at what teachers have been fired for in Arkansas recently: DUI (even though it was not school related), using a school intercom system for a prank that caused some students to leave campus five minutes early; fudging expense reports and time worked; prostitution (off campus and not with any students); off-the-cuff Facebook comments; talking bad about special-education students, and giving students answers to tests.

But bring a gun to school and let students get hold of it – a suspension, a slap on the wrist and back to work.

Lets hope PCSSD teachers don’t take to carrying guns over making Facebook comments.