KEITHVILLE, La. – Recent debate has intensified regarding gun control and one proposed solution getting some traction revolves around teachers being armed while in the classroom. While most of the conversation has been centered on the feasibility and effectiveness of such a policy, teachers at one school in northwest Louisiana have their own, unique thoughts on the matter.
The Crayfish asked teachers across the region about their stance on the topic, with Keithville teachers almost unanimously in support of armed teachers.
“What do you mean ‘would I support guns in the classroom?’ Take a look around,” says Keithville geometry teacher Heather Willow pointing to her hip where she keeps her holstered pink camoflauge Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 caliber pistol. “There’s no substitute to this bad girl. No one ever said anything about it to me.”
Heather invited us to sit in on her class to get a sense of her unorthodox approach to education to show some of the benefits of having an armed teacher in the classroom, beyond added protection. “Kids today need more discipline. They also need me to protect them. They come to school to learn, so I’m going to teach them by ensuring a safe and educational environment through violence of action to neutralize any threats that come within 30 meters of my person or my students. If anyone so much as touches my door after the bell rings, you can bet your sweet ass they are getting two in the chest and one in the head. I’ve seen enough Navy Seal documentaries to piece it together.”
The bell rang and the students filed into the classroom quietly and efficiently. “Come in and have a seat, you know the drill,” says Heather tells the class, hand wresting on her hip tapping her gun. “Y’all remember what happened to Danny when he came in talking crazy, acting up, roaming around without a hall pass, God rest his soul. I’m looking to minimize casualties this year, but I’ll do what needs to be done. I trust everyone brought their tourniquets, lets get down to business.”
The class went smoothly with no distractions among the students – a mark of success in Heather’s opinion. “When the kids start acting up, they know I’ll start firing blanks at them to get their attention. After a few of those earlier in the year, I haven’t had to fire on any student in quite some time. Some light burn injuries, but all homework has been in on time, that’s a pretty good trade off. If kids keep acting up after a barrage of blanks, they will get detention, which is 4 hours of weapons cleaning or until they have learned their lesson. These kids are thankful when they get that DeVry acceptance letter – they light up. So, it’s worth it to me, it’s why I choose to be a teacher. Plus, I get to pack this bad boy,” Heather says lifting her sock to reveal a Sig Sauer P238 pistol. “It’s small, but it’ll put you down all the same. Got it in Canton after we bought our rat terrier. To be honest, I like the gun better.”
While the national debate on gun control is likely to continue for sometime, it’s clear that in Keithville, there is no real debate. “Y’all just keep your asses on the north part of Mansfield Road and we won’t have any problems. We’ve already got it figured out down here, thank you very much,” says Heather, reiterating the unofficial policy is in Keithville to stay.