CLEVELAND, Ohio — John Morris teaches English at Shaker Heights High School and has 25 years of experience, stepping into education just two years before Columbine.
“Here we are 23 years later dealing with the same tragic circumstances with seemingly no forward movement,” said Morris.
The sights, sounds, and stories from the Uvalde, Texas shooting triggered Morris.
“Wrapping my head around the notion that this is our new reality was once again triggered by the shootings in Uvalde,” said Morris.
Morris is among many across the country calling for change but he doesn't believe House Bill 99 is the best option, the legislation allows any adult to carry guns in schools with just 24 hours of training.
Governor Mike DeWine is already signaling his plans to sign the bill.
“This notion that our peers in the building may or may not have the power to shoot someone in the building is something that we can’t accept,” said Morris.
The Washington Post recently analyzed 225 school shootings between 1998 and 2018 and found only two cases when an on-campus officer actually gunned down a shooter.
Scott DiMauro, the president of the Ohio Education Association, said teachers don't want that responsibility.
“They’re really frustrated that politicians are choosing what seems to be quick-fix solutions instead of really getting at the root of the problem,” said DiMauro.
So many stories have been shared about the selflessness and grit of educators these past two years, DiMauro said that’s a true testament that teachers like Morris don't need anything else on their plate.
“Our educators are feeling very beleaguered right now,” said DiMauro. “We’ve been on the front lines of the pandemic, we’ve been on the front lines of some real equity challenges in our school and now we’re on the front lines of school safety.”
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