We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
Rights + Justice

Armed, Dangerous and in the Classroom

A day in the life of the BC Teaching Force, 2023.

By Crawford Kilian 21 Feb 2018 | TheTyee.ca

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

image atom

“The solution is we need concealed carry in these schools. If we are really serious about protecting the kids, we need a mechanism to be defensive when this kind of thing — if we’re not going to take action, we better have mechanisms in these schools to stop it when it breaks out,” Limbaugh told Fox News Sunday.

8:00 a.m.: Teachers at Carson Graham Secondary in North Vancouver arrive and head for the armoury in the basement. Each is issued a Glock 43 and two seven-round clips, plus a shoulder holster. Concealed carry is all very well, but high visibility is considered a better deterrent.

10:15 a.m.: Teachers and administrators gather during recess at the basement firing range and don ear protectors before firing at paper outlines of Nikolas Cruz carrying an AR-15. As usual, counsellor Brittany Smith plants five rounds in the tightest circle, right in the torso. And as usual, shop teacher Bob Roberts misses the target with all five. Amid good-natured teasing, he signs up for after-school remedial practice.

12:00 p.m.: A political argument in the teachers’ lounge leaves English 10 teacher Joe Murphy pistol-whipped by vice-principal Brunhilde Wagner. Since teachers on call are unavailable, Murphy gets a little of Wagner’s makeup to conceal the bruising, and lurches off to his next class.

12:30 p.m.: Murphy phones the North Vancouver office of the BC Teaching Force to report the incident. North Van BCTF president Amber Flashing tells him: “Suck it up, dude. We’ve got enough problems. Some teacher in Williams Lake just shot a Grade 9 for giving him the finger.”

1:20 p.m.: During practice, a 120-kilo Grade 11 student on the school rugby team disarms coach Harold Angell and points the Glock at him. The rest of the team whip out their phones to tape the incident. When someone asks, “Hey, turn a little this way so I can get your profile,” the coach grabs his distracted attacker’s arm, breaks it, and retrieves his weapon. “OK, guys,” he tells his students, “I didn’t see anything and neither did you, and anyone who puts this online is off the team.”

1:30 p.m.: Paramedics pick up the student and take him to Lions Gate emergency. “Our third student case today,” one of them tells the coach. “Thank God none of them have been gunshot wounds today. Had a messy one last week.”

3:30 p.m.: Teachers return weapons and ammunition to the school armoury. Coach Angell tells the armourer, “From now on, I want a better holster that can’t be opened easily.”

The armourer shrugs. “These are standard issue, coach. You’ll have to find one online and buy it yourself.”

“The hell I will,” says the coach. “I’m filing a formal complaint with the BCTF. This is a straight occupational health and safety issue.”

Joe Murphy, his makeup wearing off and showing quite a bruise, is standing behind him.

“Don’t bother,” he says.

A sheriff in Ohio has said that, in the aftermath of the latest school shooting, it’s time to arm educators — and he’s promising to do his part to train them. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is offering free concealed carry classes to teachers and school employees who work in the county just north of Cincinnati.
Miami Herald  [Tyee]

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Do not:

  •  Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully, threaten, name-call or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, downvote, or flag suspect activity
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls and flag violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Stay on topic
  • Connect with each other


The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Kind of Stories Have Been Helping You Stay Grounded?

Take this week's poll