Crazies in the Classroom, Crazies in the State House

ABC News reports on yet another violent incident on a college campus. This one was all in the family: A demented man decided to kill his father’s live-in girlfriend at home and then visit his father’s classroom and take a crossbow and hunting knife to him.

The father tried to fight off the lunatic son as students fled the room. One commenter on this story wonders why the 18-year-olds didn’t try to protect their professor.

Every day as I drive out to the campus, I wonder if something like this will happen in my classroom. In any such event, the last thing I’d want students to do is try to help me — I would want them all out of the room and out of the building, as fast as they could run.

Teaching in a community college, you find at least one unbalanced person in your classes every semester. This semester I’ve got three in one section. Every time one damaged soul goes off, it stimulates another one someplace else to go berserk.

Eighty percent of US community-college faculty are adjunct, paid $1250 to $2500 per sixteen-week course, an amount that often works out to less than minimum wage. The risk is just not worth that kind of pay.

Here in Arizona, our esteemed legislators’ idea of a response to this situation is simple: arm every  man, woman, and child who walks onto a college campus. They’re serious. Every year or two they advance legislation to allow students and faculty to carry concealed weapons onto campus.

Picture the scene:

Demented Student: ARRRRRGHHHHHHAAAAAA! Ratta-tatta-tatta-tatta-tatta-tatta-tatta-tatta….

Professor Boxankle: Now hold that thought, Mr. Demento, while I dig this Glock out of the bottom of my purse!

Holy cripes.

Legislators who are crazy as loons, presumably elected by a citizenry as crazy as loons in a culture that provides little or no mental health care and warehouses the mentally ill in prisons,  and whose idea of coping with people who are a danger to themselves and others is simply to arm everyone. What a place!

Six  more days of class. Hope I make it through them…

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