I am amazed at House Bill 240, endorsed as “freedom to student speech and constitutional rights” by allowing guns on college campus.
As a college teacher I am not hired to teach in a classroom with students “packing” – it seems contrary to my motivations to empower students for their career futures. I do not get hazard pay for teaching in a classroom, nor would I seek to be employed there, even if I was offered such pay.
Students who are not “packing” would be subject to the same dangerous environment as the teacher, and their rights to safety would be severely infringed by the constitutional rights of those “carrying.” I don’t see why one group’s rights have priority over another group so easily.
It is rare, but not impossible, to have a student in class with mental or other instability problems – this would be a hazard to all of us in a classroom never meant to be a war zone. The University of Montana has had issues with violence and rape lately, and throwing firearms into the mix seems like insanity and instability.
The Republican sponsors of this bill have never been teachers. I recommend that they teach a class or more to a group of armed students, to see how focused and effective they can teach, if they have never had to be in that experience before. I also notice that an amendment to the passed bill was to arm public offices, police stations, and legislative sessions, and that this was voted down. Good choice; then why do we teachers have to be subjected to this exposure, since you see the lunacy of having your workplace tainted with this?
We have smoke-free campuses. Please don’t replace tobacco with firearms!