This story is part of INTO’s seven-part series, in which we’ve asked queer voices to respond to the surge in gun crime and the sixth anniversary of the Pulse shooting.
We hope these varied perspectives encourage dialogue and change to end the needless violence plaguing our country.There are between ten and fourteen blunt objects in my classroom I would be comfortable using with deadly force, my first choice being the fire extinguisher sitting behind my front door.On that same door is a bolted-on device that keeps it propped open during the school day, but has a quick-release latch that allows me to pull and lock it in less than a second.For the narrow window that looks out into the hallway, I bought peel-and-stick black paper accordion curtains.
I found them at the hardware store for $7, and four of my colleagues went out and bought them when they saw mine.I have run students through at least two active shooter drills a year, every year, since I started teaching ten years ago.
This year, because one of my students is a survivor of a mass shooting, I had to remember to warn her the day before so she could prepare herself.“If there was a shooter here, I would just tackle him before the first round,” I hear someone shout with typical high school bravado, as we walk en masse in the September heat down to the football field, a casual facsimile of a campus evacuation. “Nah he’d probably be on one of the roofs.