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Some Missouri and Illinois educators give Trump’s ‘teachers with guns’ proposal a failing grade

ST. LOUIS - A failing grade from some local educators about president Donald Trump's proposal on arming teachers with guns in the classroom.

Many of them have even started and thrown their support behind the social media movement #ArmMeWith, which is at odds with the president's idea, demanding that teachers would rather be armed with more useful and peaceful resources that would enhance teaching and student learning.

Friday, St. Louis Public Schools teacher Lauren Preston said the district lacks basic and necessary resources needed for better student learning.

That's why she says she spent more than $1,000 of her own money to help facilitate that need.

"I've raised money through donors and most teachers I know have to have a second job just to make ends meet and to pay for the supplies for their classrooms," Preston said.

Preston said that when she heard about Trump's proposal on arming teachers with guns, she couldn't believe it.

"It's something that doesn't go with teaching you can't do both," Preston said. "You can't be emotionally available to your students and also be ready to kill somebody."

Preston said though she has not posted on social media, she is following conversations associated with the #ArmMeWith movement.

"Arm me with books, arm me with smaller class sizes, arm me with mental health workers arm me with the just basic supplies you need to be a teacher and actually do your job," she said, referring to the purpose of the movement.

The president defended his proposal Friday.

"I don't want teachers to have guns," Trumps said. "I want highly adept people that understand weaponry, guns. If they have that aptitude; because not everyone has an aptitude for a gun."

Preston said that she disagrees with his logic.

"We have a lot of teachers who just want to help kids. Maybe they go hunting, but they're not going to be professional shooters," she said.

FOX 2 reached out to the Missouri National Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and both organizations denounced the president's proposal.

MNEA does have a position on the issue of guns in schools. MNEA is committed to safe schools for every student. The Association believes that all students and education employees must be allowed to learn and work in a safe environment free of unauthorized guns and other deadly weapons.

Severe penalties should be enacted and strenuously enforced for criminal actions involving guns and other deadly weapons in school settings. Weapons should not be carried within our public schools by those not meeting law enforcement requirements.

When it comes to legislation, the Association also urges the General Assembly to ensure that unauthorized weapons are not allowed on school property.

"Arming teachers is a terrible idea," wrote Aviva Bowen, Director of Communications with IFT. "The solution to guns in schools isn't more guns in schools. We're constantly being told there's no money for social workers, music, smaller classes, or even new books, but now we're going to buy weapons and ask teachers to serve as law enforcement? It's absurd."