The Valdosta Daily Times on the arming of school teachers:

During a Congressional hearing that resulted in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene being exempted from her House Committee appointments, the controversial lawmaker spoke about a school guns incident in her high school when she was a teenager.

A former teacher told us Greene suggested it would have been better if there had been law abiding individuals with a license to carry guns who had guns in the school.

To be clear, no one was injured in the Greene’s high school lockdown at the time. An unarmed teacher was able to disarm a student who had brought a gun to school. Greene and her fellow students were unharmed. How could the result be better?

Arming teachers is a terrible idea. Quite simply, teachers have to teach.

More guns in schools is not the solution for a mad gunman who walks into a school and opens fire with an AR-15. More trained and armed police officers, metal detectors, single secured entry points, panic buttons, fences and safe rooms are all things that should be considered – but teachers with guns are not the answer.

We do not think this is a Second Amendment issue, let alone gun control issue. Creating weapons in the classroom, even if the teacher has a concealed carry permit, just too many options for things that could tragically go wrong. We understand the argument that some teachers might be ex-police officers, military personnel, or avid hunters familiar with guns, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

Having permission for a pistol to go to a shooting range and at targets, shoot animals, or even go through an active shooting class or two doesn’t mean you can defend yourself or others if you are confronted with someone who is a Semi has automatic long guns and no consideration for human life, his own or that of anyone else.

Public schools in this country have long been gun-free zones and we believe they should stay that way.

To be clear, we are not against armed, trained, certified police officers or MPs in our schools. That is their job. That is what they are trained for. They are the experts when it comes to security. Shooting attackers is not and shouldn’t be the job of a school teacher.

Arming school teachers is just a bad idea.

The Rome News-Tribune on Black History Month:

“You are young, talented and black. We have to start telling our youth that a world is waiting for you. Yours is a search that has just begun.”

In 1969 the singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone wrote these lyrics based on a play by the writer Lorraine Hansberry. These texts were a call to action for young black Americans to realize their potential. And they were a call to action for the nation at large to recognize and nurture that potential.

And they thrilled us when we celebrated Black History Month with the nation.

This is the time when we pay special attention to the contributions of African Americans to all aspects of our history and culture. It is the time when we highlight the work of black inventors, teachers, doctors, artists, politicians, musicians, civil rights activists, CEOs, farmers and scientists.

But it’s just as important to recognize the work that black Americans are doing today – today – in our own community.

The black men and women who have taken on leadership roles on site are role models for our youth. Police Commissioner Denise Downer-McKinney, Former Mayor Bill Collins, City Planner Art Newell, Bishop Nealon Guthrie, Sandra Hudson of the Housing Authority, Attorney Chris Twyman. These are people whose work and commitment to the community transcend all racial boundaries.

Willie Mae Samuel, Greg Shropshire and Charles Love. These are people who work diligently to empower the black community while promoting the messages of oneness, upliftment, and positive change.

And we must praise the next generation of black community members who are playing an active role in transforming Rome and Floyd County. As the president of the Junior Service League, Attorney Deana Perry leads her organization to help all races that are less well off. And the young mural artist Xaivier Ringer uses her creativity and artistic talent to make Rome a brighter, more colorful place that spreads beauty and joy in a very visible and tangible way.

Sherica Bailey, Jarrod “JJ” Johnson, John Mays, Mike Dean, and other black entrepreneurs have taken their places in the corporate sector and helped grow various industries across the county.

We cannot possibly name everyone whose work or presence in the church has worked well. But we can thank you. We thank the black Americans who, through their work and dedication, have made Rome and Floyd County a better place.

And we hope that our community will continue to support, encourage, and empower the next generation of black Americans so that they can achieve great things for the benefit of all of us.

“There are a million boys and girls around the world

Who is young, talented and black and that is a fact! “

The Brunswick News on Teachers Qualifying for the Coronavirus Vaccine:

Protect us or let’s stay home and do our work. This is what more and more educators in Georgia and the rest of the nation are standing up and demanding today, and they have a valid point. You are not immune to COVID-19.

It’s an argument that’s going on right now that is leading school officials like the Atlanta Board of Education to urge the state to make teachers a priority for the coronavirus vaccine. You would join others to be among the first to receive a hopeful shield against disease or worse.

Teachers are at higher risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus than many other professions. You are exposed to hundreds of students, teenagers and teenagers from every imaginable environment every day. There are those who unknowingly have to go to school infected. Why shouldn’t teachers ask to be at the top somewhere on one of the vaccines?

Your jobs are critical. You are responsible for what tomorrow and the next day will look like and the day after and so on and so forth. They fill young minds with knowledge every day, boys and girls who will one day take over the leadership and government. It’s big enough without the added distraction and fear of coronavirus lurking around the classroom or hallways.

Facts say it all. In 2020, more than 530 educators who contracted the coronavirus died, according to the American Federation of Teachers Union.

In Cobb County, a county with the third highest number of COVID-19 cases out of the state’s 159 counties, three in the education sector succumbed to the pandemic. The death toll includes two teachers and one paraprofessional.

Some school systems understand the risks teachers would take and have chosen to rely entirely on the virtual school. It’s the next best thing to be there, and it can be withdrawn without harming the health of any student, teacher, or family member.

As long as COVID-19 or one of its variants is on the lookout, everyone is at risk, including teachers. The least we can do is give them a shield against this potentially deadly virus.