Chilling Exclusive Interview: Her ‘Favorite Teacher’ Was The Latest School Shooter
Survivor to NRA: ‘I DARE YOU’ To Say Arming Teachers Is Safe
My first instinct when I heard that an armed teacher discharged his handgun and fired a bullet through a window at Dalton High School Wednesday afternoon was probably very similar to that of most Americans: this exacerbates just how bad the Trump/NRA proposal to arm teachers really is. My second thought was likely shared by many others as well: this must have been one angry, deranged teacher.
We all know the type. Most of us probably had one at one point in our eductation. For me, it was a bitter science teacher at the end of his career. Tenured to a working lifetime of teaching untamed and uninterested freshman, quick temper. Never offered any after-class help or guidance. Reeked of cheap gin. Would never be trusted with an “honors” or “advanced” class.
Not only did I assume that was the type of teacher that Jesse Davidson was when I learned that he barricaded himself in a classroom and opened fire, it was the picture in my mind in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas shooting when politicians began their calls to mandate teachers conceal and carry. You want to give that short-fused curmudgeon a gun?
You know what they say about assumptions?
Much like the Stoneman Douglas tragedy, the students who survived the incident quickly reported the news without the filter of media bias or a predetermined agenda on the hot-button issue of gun control. And through these pure, untainted points of view, I learned that Mr. Davidson — as he is called by his students in Northwest Georgia — was never considered to be the bitter, unhinged sociopath that students shied away from. Rather, he was quite the opposite.
Dalton Junior Chondi Chastain dared the NRA directly to justify arming teachers after witnessing the breakdown of a man she called her “favorite teacher at Dalton high“:
@nra my favorite teacher at Dalton high school just blockaded his door and proceeded to shoot. We had to run out The back of the school in the rain. Students were being trampled and screaming. I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe.
— Chondi🌙 (@_omg_chondi_) February 28, 2018
I followed up with Chastain to gain insight into why she considered Davidson to a favorite teacher. She didn’t hesitate to praise the man who’s US History class she was supposed to attend a little over two hours after the incident:
“Mr. Davidson is — not was–a great person. He would stop bullying if he saw it, talk to the shy kids, and if you went in there sad, he would try his best to make you happy.
Chastain said she would often joke with Davidson when they passed in the halls of Dalton High. “Just the other day I saw him in the hallway and said ‘Oh look, its my teacher best friend, Randy!’ and he laughed and said ‘Hi best friend.’ She added that his pleasant demeanor “always seemed to be beaming with joy.”
‘Guns shouldn’t be in schools’
As the conversation turned towards student activism towards gun violence in schools, Chastain sounded much like the heralded survivors of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy:
Guns shouldn’t be in schools. I honestly have no clue why he did this, but this just goes to show how bad of a plan this could be. Luckily. Mr. Davidson would never want to hurt anybody else, but what if it was a different teacher?
Imagine if it was legal for ‘trained veterans’, as they’re saying. Just because they’re fine when they first get the gun doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. Things happen, people get upset, you never know whats going to push people over the edge.
There is no way of knowing whats going on inside somebody’s head!!!
Despite only being a high school junior, the aspiring writer seems to have a firm grasp on the reality of the argument that is gripping our fragile nation right now:
‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ Well obviously. Guns are inanimate objects. They don’t kill people…but they do make it a lot easier to end a life.
Odds are, 48 hours ago Randy Davidson would have been considered the model for teachers who could be tasked with protecting their students from gun violence. But as Chondi Chastain is correct when she says “There is no way of knowing whats going on inside somebody’s head” . Davidson is now the model for why we should exhibit extreme caution in the debate about allowing faculty to carry firearms onto a school campus. If the kind, compassionate history teacher can end up shooting in a barricaded empty classroom, do we know that the “well trained” educator wouldn’t do the same in a full one?
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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)