As Florida lawmakers advanced legislation this week to allow the state's teachers to carry concealed weapons following the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month, a teacher in neighboring Georgia reportedly fired a gun at a high school, forcing authorities to evacuate the school.
Social studies teacher Jesse Randall Davidson allegedly barricaded himself in a classroom at Dalton High School with the handgun, refusing to let students in. The principal placed the school in lockdown and evacuated students and staff after Davidson fired one shot out of a window. After a 30-to-45 minute standoff with the police, Davidson was taken into custody.
"While it remains to be seen exactly what the teacher now in custody by the Dalton Police was doing with their gun, the incident will hopefully force some of those advocating for more guns in the classroom to reconsider."—Rafi Schwartz, Splinter
No one was injured when he fired the handgun, and police say there was no evidence that Davidson was attempting to shoot anyone. But critics of the recent Republican push to train and arm teachers say the case should be seen as clear evidence that mandating the presence of firearms in schools is no way to keep students safe and that legislators should focus on restricting access to firearms instead of proposing to bring more weapons into schools.
In the wake of the incident, Rafi Schwartz wrote at Splinter that "arming teachers is not only morally repugnant, but also that the proliferation of weapons in schools will only invite a wave of deadly accidents, misunderstandings, and overreactions."
"While it remains to be seen exactly what the teacher now in custody by the Dalton Police was doing with their gun, the incident will hopefully force some of those advocating for more guns in the classroom to reconsider," added Schwartz.
On social media, students at Dalton High School also spoke out, echoing the teenagers from Parkland, Florida who immediately demanded strict gun control legislation in the wake of the shooting at their high school on Valentine's Day.
@nra my favorite teacher at Dalton high school just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot. We had to run out The back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.— Chondi (@_omg_chondi_) February 28, 2018
I’m a Dalton High School student. Please don’t tell me a damn thing about arming teachers. Please don’t tell me that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.— hillary (@idkhillary) February 28, 2018