As schools begin the spring semester, I am aware of how dangerous a job teaching has become. There haven’t been any instances of a 6-year-old child shooting his accountant, or his barber, or his lawyer, or his newspaper editor. His teacher and classmates, however, are easy and vulnerable targets.

School Shooting Newport News

Rosalie List, a co-worker at Richneck Elementary, wipes a tear from her eye while speaking during a vigil for Abby Zwerner, the teacher shot and wounded by a 6-year-old Richneck student, in front of the Newport News Public Schools Administration Building in Newport News, Va., on Jan. 9. Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot via AP

In a country with an easy and accessible flow of guns, schools have become the target of choice. Rarely does a month pass that we don’t learn of another school shooting somewhere in America; in Virginia, in Texas, in Florida, in Colorado, throughout the country there is an epidemic of terrorist attacks in schools.

Teachers at all levels are routinely executed for the crime of showing up for work to teach the nation’s young. The school where the latest incident occurred is planning to put in metal detectors. There is ample evidence of how easily they are bypassed, and ID badges are particularly ineffective. Is the next step to be arming teachers to be able to engage in shootouts at the OK classroom?

As a teacher, I have constant reminders of how vulnerable I am. Any student who doesn’t like the subject matter or disagrees with a grade or perhaps just doesn’t like my style of teaching could easily get a gun and start shooting. Not just me, of course; everyone in the class and in the school is a target. How many professions are there where a metal detector has been installed when the client or customer enters the building?

Alicia Harding

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