Every Monday, or other day when the school schedule is disrupted for one of a thousand reasons, my classes work on vocabulary. They must, using a dictionary actually made of paper, look up ten words, identify the part of speech, write a brief, accurate denotation, and then use the word in a grammatically correct sentence without adding prefixes or suffixes, changing its number, or if a verb, changing the tense. They must use a paper dictionary because it forces them to read and think. It reminds them of the alphabet and forces them to keep that knowledge alive. They’re not allowed to use a cell phone or other electronic device because that forces them to demonstrate they actually understand the words, rather than merely copying someone else’s knowledge.
The words we look up are those that will soon appear in our readings and other lessons. But perhaps most important in this recurring exercise is teaching the reality of language. Words have meaning, and that meaning must be precise if people hope to understand each other and maintain a functioning society. To that end, let us, gentle readers, review a common word, courtesy of Merriam-Webster.com:
Deduction: noun. The deriving of a conclusion by reasoning.
Why is this of any importance? Precision in language and understanding. Sherlock Holmes constantly deduced this and that. Let us practice by referring to the story of a beloved and effective high school history teacher who was suspended because he made a serious mistake: he actually believed there is such a thing as free speech and professional conduct in New Jersey public schools. Silly fellow. The Daily Caller reports:
Cherry Hill High School history teacher Timothy Locke, 59, said he was placed on administrative leave last week because he spoke out in one of his classes about arming teachers and ramping up school security to try and prevent a school shooting.
Locke allegedly said that a similar shooting could happen at Cherry Hill and he would put himself between the gunman and the students.
Most of the students reportedly didn’t have a problem with Locke’s comments, but one was so distraught by the comments she was escorted to the administration by another teacher. Locke’s bag was searched and he was required to undergo a physical and psychological exam.
From this we can make several pertinent deductions: history teachers also teach social studies, and are expected to discuss pertinent current events. Locke is correct: a similar attack could happen at any school at any time. Locke is also brave and responsible. I would do the same thing, and would hope that any man would do the same, but oh dear, would I be angry at administrators and politicians that would force me to do it unarmed, and if killed, would haunt them and their progeny until the end of time. Improving school security, whether by arming teachers or other means, is a good thing and much to be desired. The “distraught” female student should not have been taken to administrators, but to a counselor, who should have set up a reality IV. The teacher that thought Locke’s comments required reporting to administrators should be soundly slapped and bid get a grip on them self. Any administrator thinking they had cause to search Locke or any of his possessions should be soundly slapped–repeatedly, just because–and immediately taken, in a straightjacket, to the nearest mental health acute care facility, where they could be given intensive reality therapy.
It also appears Locke told his students the two police officers assigned to the school were unarmed, which is a probable reason for administrator’s bizarre response, as philly.com reports:
But as controversy over one teacher’s remarks about what he described as lax security continues to rock Cherry Hill East, the township school district seems to have redefined ‘conversation’ again to mean a one-way channel enabling officials to listen to but answer few (if any) questions. And to say nearly nothing.
It’s as if the district were guarding some awful secret, rather than, say, overreacting — or perhaps overzealously guarding its image.
On Friday, Cherry Hill did announce a welcome expansion of the police presence inside and outside all 19 of the district’s schools, as well as ID requirements for students, parents, and others seeking to enter school buildings. The new rules go into effect Monday.
The district’s announcement and a township statement supporting the enhanced procedures followed Superintendent Joseph Meloche’s two-hour meeting with Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn and township Police Chief William P. Monaghan on Friday morning. The meeting was arranged after the Valentine’s Day massacre at a Parkland, Fla., high school but before the uproar at East.
Township officials said ‘fully equipped’ (meaning armed) officers will increase their visits to and patrols of all district schools.
But the new procedures do not in themselves provide for arming the police officers already employed by the district, such as the two each at Cherry Hill East and West.
Monaghan has recommended that the school board allow for arming the four officers, a move Cahn also supports.
‘Why not do that?’ the mayor said Friday.
Why not indeed? Rational students are taking matters into their own hands, according to CBS News:
Hundreds of students walked out of class Tuesday morning to support a teacher who was placed an administrative leave for his comments on the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, CBS Philadelphia reports. Timothy Locke, an AP history teacher, was placed on administrative leave after voicing his concerns over security at Cherry Hill High School East. Locke said a similar shooting could take place at the school and said two police officers are not armed on campus, The Associated Press reports.
It would appear Mr. Locke, a military combat veteran, made the error of talking about his school district’s abject failure to take minimal school security measures, and they were particularly stung by his exposure of the fact the two police officers–police officers!–assigned to his school were unarmed. This was certainly known to students, but probably not known to the general public, who, even in anti-gun New Jersey, would not find that news reassuring. I also wonder about any police officer who would allow themselves to be disarmed while in uniform.
Students, and much of the public, are demanding reinstatement for Locke, and the district’s top administrators are issuing public statements, here, here and here, which purport to address the issues without actually addressing the issues, though they are also backpedaling and backing down on a variety of statements and policies. They are also proposing bold new safety measures, such as requiring teachers to wear ID badges, and to sign in when they come to school every day and when they leave. I can think of no safety measures more likely to strike fear into the hearts of potential school shooters.
Our final deduction, gentle readers, is elementary. Anti-liberty educrats lash out most viciously at those that expose their true nature and their stupidity. There would appear to be no shortage of such people at the Cherry Hill School District in Cherry Hill, NJ.
If Mr. Locke is reinstated, he will be on notice: daring to practice the diversity, rigor, and high expectations to which his school claims to be dedicated is fraught with danger. Daring to advocate for the actual safety of students, rather than virtue signaling and feel good safety gestures, will require teachers to display a great deal of grit, and give them an opportunity for personal growth and bank account depletion for attorneys, which would inevitably lead a rational person to deduce there is no room for rationality, or the Second Amendment, at Cherry Hill High School East.