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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Education professionals are responding to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that arming teachers would help prevent more school shootings.
Many are using the hashtag “Arm Me With” to demand change when it comes to schools and mental health. The goal of the movement is a way for educators to voice their frustrations and it’s quickly gained traction on social media.
“#ArmMeWith trauma-informed care trainings for teachers and principals to help work with children who are struggling with so much,” is just one of many tweets Ellen Williams wrote to express the need for resources in public schools.
Williams is a student on The Ohio State University’s campus. She is studying to become a social worker, currently working with underprivileged children in Columbus in an after school program.
“We only have one guidance counselor once a week, if a kid needs help, who is going to be there for them?”, said Williams.
She’s joined forces with the thousands of teachers and educators supporting the hashtag “Arm Me With” movement. Williams took to social media to express her concerns, turning the focus from arming teachers with guns to what schools really need.
Williams’ tweets have gained over 72,000 likes and have been shared more than 46,000 times.
“People need to wake up and realize this is happening six miles down the street from you. There are kids that are hungry, there are kids that don’t have backpacks,” said Williams.
Williams says her most important job when she works with kids is to ask them one simple question, a question she says is often over looked.
“‘Are you okay? What’s going on?’ If we are not assessing kids on their mental health and figuring out if they feel safe at school, do you feel safe at home, do you feel safe in your neighborhood? Kids are coming to school and they are not learning because of outside factors.”
She hopes lawmakers are paying attention to this hashtag and start creating polices in line with educators’ solutions.
“Listen to the people who are actually working in the situations, every single day,” said Williams.