Published: Issue 12 Neutronsprotons.com
Secure Schools (Excerpt from Educating America in the 22nd Century by Jack Martin)
Contract Negotiation of 2108 (Secure Schools and the NTU)
The now famous contract negotiations of 2108 dynamically shifted the balance of power in the United States and held global ramifications for future policy. It was in those negotiations that the NTU openly wielded its military and political clout for the first time, all for the continued safety and education of the American children. The Union president, Joseph Haines (son of Arnold Haines), made it abundantly clear that not only would they continue to maintain and cultivate a formidable dedicated security force of Teachers, but they no longer acknowledged the power of president or congress to censure either their domestic or international actions citing the fact that none of the individuals within those offices held Teaching Licenses and could not, therefore, make informed decisions. In response, the National Board of Education was ‘absorbed’ into the Union, and therefore effectively dismantled. Now, 100% responsible for the education and continued well-being of American children, the National Teacher’s Union finally took on the rigorous, streamlined, and pedagogically sound shape we know today, forever tossing aside the impossible meddling of bureaucracy in favor of secure, autonomous, education.
Origins of Secure Schools
If one were to look back on the structure of education in the U.S. at the beginning of the 21st century, the drastic changes that took place in less than a hundred years might seem astounding. Unfortunately, the beginning of the movement towards efficient, secure, high standards education can be traced back to tragedy. It was after a horrific rash of school massacres marked the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century, that the American people began to seriously question how and why events like this were allowed to occur. Armed men simply entered school buildings and murdered innocent, unprotected children, teachers, and administrators.
A movement began to take shape that encouraged School Administrators, and later, Classroom Teachers themselves, to adopt strategies of direct intervention in violent situations. Initially in a few states, a conceal-carry permit was issued to principals, vice-principals, and SROs, still ‘keeping guns out of our classrooms.’ This, however, ended in disaster as the school shootings not only continued, but intensified, as the disturbed individuals perpetuating the violence now came armed with heavier grade assault weapons, body armor and, in the heart-wrenching example of Lawrence, Kansas, a grenade launcher.
Teachers themselves, in an incomprehensible twist, were still whole-heartedly opposed to the movement towards ‘secure schools,’ and refused to apply for their own permits. Even when it became more than obvious that a handful of guns in the building would not be enough to guarantee the safety of their students, many still refused on the grounds of ‘escalation’ and ‘giving in to violence.’ Instead, they continued to bravely, but needlessly, sacrifice themselves to protect their students from mindless violence and loudly advocated for stricter gun control laws.
Secure Schools Teacher Education Act
Still having a great deal of sway over the education system, it was here that the Federal Government intervened with what would become a pivotal action: The Secure Schools Teacher Education Act of 2028. In this legislation, the requirements for a teacher education degree from any public four-year university would include not only rigorous training in content, pedagogy and classroom management, but also high level field courses in SWAT tactics, firearms, and Israeli hand to hand combat.
Under this law, all k-12 Classroom Teachers would be issued a handgun and required to carry it on their persons throughout the school day. The American people were clearly saying that the well-being and continued education of their children was their highest priority. And no voice spoke this message more strongly then the young former NRA president turned high school principal, Arnold Haines.
Unrest in Education
This legislation ushered in a decade of extreme educational upheaval. Some universities, schools, and teachers still refused to see the obvious benefit of Secure Schools and would not comply with the national requirements. As sanctions were imposed on non-compliant school districts and universities, and political posturing went to extremes, student test scores suffered and public opinion was deeply divided.
It was, in a large part, due to Arnold Haines’ incredible rhetoric that this rift in the nation was eventually healed. Haines tirelessly toured the country, stumping for the support of ‘Secure Schools’ and appearing on late-night television shows for many years. His message was always the same: reminding the American people that what really mattered was the continued safety and education of their children.
When the dust finally settled at the beginning of the 2040s, more then half of all previously tenured teachers in the country had abandoned their career, and many new candidates, more dedicated to safety in our schools, were fast-tracked through increasingly streamlined teacher ed. programs to fill in the gaps.
With this modern, high standards focused team of educators proudly leading and protecting our students, American education made leaps and bounds in recovering the lost ground of the previous century. Schools were built (or retro-fitted) with high tech security systems and safe rooms. Although the assaults on schools briefly increased in frequency and intensity through the 50’s and 60’s, teachers were able to successfully repel the incursions for the most part, with relatively minor collateral damage.
But the public began to voice reasonable concern for the effect of continued exposure to violence on their children. In fact, most school districts averaged an assault every two to three years at this point, which would generally interrupt the learning of students for several days. This was unacceptable.
Secure Schools Gun Control Act
Once again, it was Arnold Haines who managed to unite the nation in finding a solution. He was the first to point out that only people who had already proven that their highest priority was the well-being and continued education of our children could reasonably be trusted to carry any sort of weapons. And so, after some debate, the “Secure Schools Gun Control Act” of 2073 finally restricted the purchase of firearms solely to those who carried a valid and current teaching license.
National Teacher’s Union Formed
Because a teaching license now carried such a great deal of responsibility, states began to see the need for a highly standardized and rigorously monitored set of benchmarks nation-wide. Teacher’s unions were gradually merged to form the national chapter (NTU) which worked closely with the ATF to uphold the standards necessary for properly licensed teachers and secure schools. Arnold Haines was almost unanimously elected president in 2080, although he only held the position for two years before dying of heart failure in October, 2082. His son, Joseph, was immediately chosen to be his replacement.
In 2085, the number of licensed Teachers in the country was close to 6.5 million, and the NTU began to significantly influence policies in Washington, with the continued safety and education of our children as their omnipresent motivation. One of their first successful campaigns was to re-allocate monies from D.o.D. funding towards the Board of Education in order to fund essential safety measures such as building and grounds defense for schools.
The Secure Schools Gun Control Act was made retro-active in 2095, requiring private citizens who did not carry a valid teaching license to forfeit their firearms to local schools, where each weapon was catalogued before being either recycled or re-issued to a Teacher.
The last hurdle to Secure Schools was finally overcome in 2108 after the presidential election. The newly elected president, Marcus Dawson, turned out to hold sheltered, radical anti-education opinions and cited the Anti-Trust law and Second Amendment against the NTU’s strict regulation of firearms. It was this political stunt that finally led to the famous, globally watched Contract Negotiations. The matter was settled after a week-long summit, and the president immediately impeached for actions that put the continued security and education of our children at risk.
Finally, American students would continue to thrive and learn without violence as they do to this day.
FOOTNOTE: Upon seeing the success of the modern education system in America, other countries’ schools have begun to express an interest in modeling themselves upon a Secure Schools system. The NTU is currently in active negotiations with the governments of both Mexico and Canada to allow their school districts the same safety and privileges which American children are afforded.
By Lindsay DeFrates