If you work as a teacher, we want to know: would more permissive gun laws make you look for another job?
Hundreds of current and former teachers have written in to HuffPost in the past three weeks, most of them voicing strong opposition to the idea of educators carrying guns, a suggestion that has arisen in the wake of the shooting last month at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 students and six adults dead.
Last week, we received an email from a teacher in Portland, Ore., who told us that "the last few weeks have been an extremely dark place for educators," and that over his school's winter break, he took the time to "think, reflect, and dwell on these tragedies at great lengths." The teacher went on to say:
I will not create a culture of fear in my school. I will not carry or have a gun. If there is a top down requirement for me to have a concealed weapon in my classroom, I will resign and seek a new profession.
To the best of our knowledge, there have been no proposals that would actually require teachers to keep a gun in the classroom. Still, many of the ideas discussed in the wake of Newtown involve shifting the law in the direction of having more guns in schools.
The National Rifle Association has called for armed police officers to be placed in every school (something that many of the teachers who wrote to us said they would be comfortable with). And legislators in several states -- among them Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee -- have drafted or voiced support for bills that would relax current restrictions and allow teachers to carry firearms.
We want to ask you, the teachers who read HuffPost, what you think.
Are you a teacher? Would you quit your job if your school changed its policies to allow more guns on campus? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your thoughts.
We'll publish some reader responses later this week.