Has America Lost Its Purpose Of Education?

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Has America lost its purpose of what a teacher’s job actually is?

Trump says teachers who carry guns at school should get bonuses (between 10 and 40 per cent) for keeping their students safe. I think it is at this point, not only would I consider leaving America if I worked there, I’d consider leaving teaching full stop.

A sweeping generalisation I know, but teaching is hard enough without having to work in fear that a) your students may be shot b) you may have to use a gun whilst at work or that c) you may be killed whilst teaching kids how to read or how to count.

In response to the shocking news that 17 people were killed in Parkland School, Florida, Donald Trump said, “teachers who carry guns at school should get bonuses for keeping their students safe.

Despicable …

Here is one reaction in response to a tweet I published, “Despicable…”

“Maybe I should stop following. My values don’t mesh with yours. Why are you trying to be political?”

I’d rather have no followers if it meant having people who disagreed with me and that guns were removed from people’s homes, streets and schools. Idealistic? Well, we managed to get close to this zero-tolerance stance in the U.K. We have other issues to tackle in London; knife crime amongst teenagers.

In a quoted tweet, another response from a teacher said “I’m not outraged and I don’t find it despicable. It’s a possible solution. One of many.” So, let me just confirm this statement. There are some teachers who do think that it is a good idea that ‘teachers are equipped with guns’ and bonuses for keeping their students safe.

Personally, I’d like to hear the “one of many” alternatives other than equipping teachers with guns, including starting to make possessing a gun harder for every citizen. We are all entitled to an opinion – this is mine – but, I cannot be the only middle-aged teacher ashamed and appalled at such an idea; or moved by the pleas not only from the grieving parents, but from the students themselves who have seen their peers gunned down in the school corridors, passionately speaking about a change in gun laws in the United States.

Bias and Positions of Power

This is an example of the views parents and school students are fighting – people in power who cannot answer this simple question: Will you work with us [parents] and do something about guns? Marco Rubio could not answer the question and there lies my response: ‘despicable’.

America has the response to this incident wrong for several reasons.

  • America has forgotten that the purpose of education is to teach children.
  • That teachers and parents – and society at large – should protect every child. This does not require the use of guns.
  • That the purpose of education is to create, not destroy.

Instead, simply ensure every citizen has to complete a rigorous test before being granted a gun licence. It’s really that simple.

63 million people voted for Donald Trump in November 2016. That’s the equivalent of the entire British population! In November 2016 when Trump was elected, I wrote “Trump claims his presidency is a movement, not a campaign and that ‘the forgotten people will be forgotten no more’. I wonder if this includes all citizens – and those now dead too?

Here is One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings.


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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