Lit/Lang/Comp II and AP Lang teacher Heidi Bowman recently posted a tweet that went viral on the internet with over 112,000 retweets and 337,000 likes. Bowman was featured on multiple news websites worldwide including the Washington Press and Huffington Post.
“I am a teacher. Arm me. Arm me with funding for a full time school Psychologist. Arm me with funding and mandatory school counselors. Arm me by funding smaller class sizes so I can best get to know every one of my 160 students and their families. Arm us with what we NEED,” Bowman tweeted.
The tweet was posted in response to Trump’s statement of arming trained teachers with weapons to protect the students. In a listening session with the survivors and the victim’s families, Trump proposes this idea that only around 20 percent of teachers would have firearms and they would be trained to fight.
“I didn’t expect anything from [my tweet]. I had 32 followers on Thursday and now I have more than 2,000,” Bowman said. “I’ve been trying to be very responsible with what I post. I’m trying to be conscious of my audience.”
The #ArmMe movement was started by Olivia Bertels, a middle school English teacher in Kansas and Brittany Wheaton, an English teacher in Utah. They were inspired by a friend who is a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I noticed that the #ArmMe movement was making a lot of requests. Because I’ve been on the negotiations team before and we had to talk money, I realized that it’s not just that I need to ask for counseling. Counseling is not funded,” Bowman said. “I modified #Armme to arm me with funding for this stuff. We can all hope for everything. What we need to do is get the funding for these things.”
Only around 18 percent of shots fired by trained police officers hit their target in actual combat. Bowman disagrees that teachers would be able to do any better without endangering the lives of her students.
“I’m not silencing myself or censoring myself because I have no fear of retribution from my bosses. They’re behind me all the way, but I’ve just been trying to make sure the conversation keeps going and that people don’t stop talking about it,” Bowman said.
There are over a 1.5K comments and discussions on the tweet. With it, Bowman joins the #ArmMe movement in a march for our lives. Currently, Bowman continues to tweet daily with her thoughts on what she thinks can be done about our nation @Mrsbowmanocsa.
“I have talked to people who have served in the military and are teachers in classrooms or who used to serve in law enforcement and are now teachers, and they all agree that it poses a greater danger than it does a benefit,” Bowman said. “It is a black or white fallacy to think that the only response to a gun is a gun.”
Bowman shows us that teachers do not only stick to what they are told to teach. Teachers at a time like this are crucial to society and when necessary, they can rise up along with students across the nation to show us that guns are not a solution, weapons are not a solution and violence is not a solution. However, we all have weapons of our own. Words are our weapons and we can fight this battle without the use of guns.