SJ Teacher Suspended for Discussing Parkland Shooting with Students
Students of Cherry Hill High School East protested Monday and Tuesday morning regarding a matter related to the Parkland School Shooting in Florida that happened on Valentines Day; However, the matter isn't over what you may think.
Students, parents, and teachers across the nation have embarked on a movement for gun control and enhanced school safety-- But students at Cherry Hill East are protesting on behalf of a beloved teacher, Timothy Locke (who was suspended for the remainder of the year without pay) for allegedly making comments/discussing the Parkland School shooting with his students in his history class.
Locke has been working at the school for over 17 years, and has been known to students as the relatable, fun loving teacher who would do anything for his students. Even would "stand between a gunman and his students" based off the comments he made in class last Friday.
However, Locke has been under fire by the district for going against what he's been told to do, which is "to create a sense of normalcy" in the classroom and discuss nothing more about the nationwide event. But according to the Inquirer, a student became visibly upset after Locke was discussing the safety issues of the district in class Friday afternoon. He mentioned:
that Cherry Hill East has been compared to Columbine, based on demographics... He also voiced concerns about the lack of armed police officers in the school.
The student in the article also claims Locke said, "the odds of East getting shot up were high", which then lead to an internal investigation once the concern was addressed to the Principal's office.
Needless to say; Students, teachers and even alumni are afraid, and upset at the consequences that are being taken out on Mr. Locke. Being an alumni myself of Cherry Hill East, I can't help but feel that Mr. Locke is being made an example of:
From walking the halls of Cherry Hill East for 4 years, I can affirm that I only ever saw about two "officers" centered at the main intersection of our school, who were never armed considering they were simply "campus officers" that worked for the district, not the Cherry Hill police department. This statement also validated by Cherry Hill Police Chief William Monaghan.
In my opinion, it's obvious that the issue here doesn't lay within Gun Control--given that yes it may help; we need to focus on School Security here in South Jersey. If protesting, publicizing, vocalizing, and utilizing social media is the only way to get the attention of the district... then so be it.
That being said, the district should NOT be reprimanding those with a voice, student's included: