Catherine Pierce

Keep Guns Out of MS College Classrooms

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Catherine Pierce
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**Note: Please sign this letter only if you teach at a Mississippi college or university--thank you!

An Open Letter to the State Senators of Mississippi:

As educators from colleges and universities across Mississippi, we, the undersigned, wish to be heard on HB 1083, which would override the ability of schools to prohibit guns in non-public campus spaces, including classrooms. We believe it would be a sabotage to education—to its effectiveness and its safety—to allow guns in the classroom.

All across higher education, teachers are training students in critical thinking, intellectually and emotionally rigorous engagement, and problem-solving skills. For the student, these activities aren’t always easy or comfortable, nor should they be. Sometimes students become frustrated. Sometimes they even get angry. If the student is—or might be—carrying a gun, the dynamic shifts dramatically. While this legislation would be specific to enhanced concealed carry permit holders, any classroom with a gun is a very different classroom than one without a gun. A classroom with a gun ceases to be an environment where teachers or students can feel safe engaging in the sorts of stimulating and challenging discussions that are the hallmarks of higher education. To put it mildly, this is not an education that will prepare our young adults to boldly take their places in the world.

The following educators from Mississippi’s colleges and universities ask to be armed only with a safe environment by keeping guns out of the classroom. Please vote down HB 1083.

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