Sunday, March 10, 2013

We need another word for foolish

I read in yesterday's Boston Globe a short article about a new law signed into effect by the governor of South Dakota.   I wonder if today when you visit Mount Rushmore the four presidents will seem to have their eyes closed and to be shaking their heads from side to side.

Perhaps we need another word for foolish.  Or that Sholom Aleichem used Chelm instead of Sioux Falls to protect the few wise people in this Red State when writing his stories about a place where all the fools were brought by the stork.

The great state of South Dakota it was reported yesterday passed a law that will allow teachers to be armed in their schools to avoid another Newtown.

I come from a line of teachers. My dad was a teacher, then a principal.  My brother was a teacher until he recently retired.  I taught English for one year in a high school and for the last 30 plus have been on the faculty at a university.

However, you don't have to be a teacher or someone with a brain to think this law is foolish. 

Nobody, of course, can ever remember a teacher who was a little off balance. All teachers and principals are beyond reproach. No teachers have emotional problems and behave in ways that make one wonder about whether they should have been assigned to work with kids. No molesters in the classroom, no teachers who have subsequently been incarcerated for crimes. None of that.  Why when you get together for high school reunions you never wonder how Mr. Jones ever got a job.

Nobody, of course, can ever remember a high school student who was beyond off center. Someone a little light on the IQ side, or gifted with brains but emotionally bereft such that they might ever figure out a way to find a hidden stash of guns in school and, at least, threaten to use it on their classmates. Nobody like that.

Nobody of course can doubt that every one of their former school teachers would know how to handle a gun if they were in a position to use them.  I can remember several of my teachers in high school who would not have been able to lift a gun to their eyes without it exploding against the blackboard. But of course I must have lived in a strange town.

Why not, South Dakotans, arm all students as well. Give each tyke a machine gun and instead of teaching how to think (something apparently not in the curriculum in Vermillion) teach them how to shoot. That way, Benny will not kill Charlene, because Benny will know that Charlene can shoot and Benny will be discouraged.  Yes, that is the ticket.

And make sure the janitors have guns, and those in the cafeteria. The school bus drivers in Chamberlain should have a gun, and the kid who runs the Student Book store and sells calculators.  The gym teacher of course, and every person who attends the women's soccer games.

We need another word for foolish.

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