Target: Dennis Daugaard, governor of South Dakota
Goal: Protest a new law in South Dakota which allows teachers to carry guns in classrooms.
On March 8th, 2013 South Dakota passed a new law which will now allow teachers to carry guns on the job. This new law could represent the beginning of the future foreseen for the United States by the National Rifle Association, in which children sit in classrooms led by teachers with guns in their desks. But, as it turns out, many of the teachers themselves do not like or want this new legislation.
Don Kirkegaard, superintendent of the Meade School District, said “We should be looking at the big picture and that may be part of the big picture, but it’s not something I’m going to promote.” Kirkegaard also stated that there seemed to be a lack of planning or discussion involved in this new law, and he does not believe that many school districts will “jump” at the opportunity to take advantage of carrying firearms in school.
While we as a nation should respect our teachers, they are fallible human beings. Accidents with firearms can occur, or children in the classroom might get their hands on the gun. Furthermore, there could be instances of teachers who are abusive to students, as this does sometimes happen. How much worse could this problem be if that teacher were armed? There are limitless ways that this legislation might open the door for students to face dangerous conditions. In fact, there have been reports of accidents with guns in schools, such as a maintenance worker who accidentally shot himself at an East Texas school that is allowing staff to carry guns. Is this the kind of environment we want to place children into?
Sign this petition to tell South Dakota that this law is a mistake.
Dear Governor Daugaard,
You have recently signed into law new legislation which allows teachers in South Dakota to carry guns. Many school officials are on record as saying that they find this legislation to be an overly hasty, kneejerk reaction to the shootings at Sandy Hook. In fact, it is highly likely that many teachers, students, and parents would feel even less safe having guns in classrooms, even if those guns are being held by individual teachers or school officials. Accidents can happen. Children can also gain access to teachers’ desks or other places where guns might be.
In short, this new legislation raises dangerous possibilities. In an East Texas school which is now allowing its staff to carry guns, a maintenance worker accidentally shot himself. While many school officials would be willing to consider possible alternatives for their school districts, such as armed security guards, this new legislation has been pushed through very quickly and without taking the words of teachers, principals, and other staff into account. Other options should be explored first. Please reconsider this law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: User “Bardbom” in Wikimedia Commons