A Georgia student whose teacher fired his weapon in class has jumped into the debate about whether educators should be armed, voicing her opposition in a widely shared tweet to the National Rifle Association this week.
Chondi Chastain's "favorite teacher" at Dalton High School, Randal Davidson, was arrested Wednesday after he barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot from a handgun out a window, police said. The incident came as President Donald Trump, the NRA and others suggested arming teachers to prevent tragedies such as the February 14 massacre that left 17 dead at a Parkland, Florida, high school.
"I know that Mr. Davidson would never try to hurt anyone," Chastain told Chris Cuomo on Friday on CNN's "New Day." "I just fear if it was a different teacher, if more teachers have guns, this could have been a lot more tragic than it was."
No one was injured in the Dalton school shooting, but one student hurt an ankle as she ran, police said.
Chastain, 16, told Cuomo about the fear she and her classmates felt as they initially assumed their school was under attack. "We were all just terrified and running for what we thought was our lives," she said.
In her tweet, she described students "being trampled and screaming" during Wednesday's evacuation of the school north of Atlanta.
"I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe," she said in the tweet to the NRA, which had more than 27,000 retweets as of Friday morning.
Chastain's Twitter comments come as the NRA finds itself at the forefront of a national debate about school shootings and the availability of semi-automatic weapons. Companies have been publicly distancing themselves from the lobbying organization, and Trump went so far Wednesday as to accuse some senators of being "afraid" of the NRA.
Joining the ranks of other teen activists speaking out about gun safety, Chastain offered a solution for those who want to see teachers armed.
"I think that maybe we should have more officers in the school," she told Cuomo.
- Student whose teacher fired weapon speaks out against arming teachers
- Teachers use 3-D printer to make prosthetic arm for student
- Trump's suggestion to arm teachers draws criticism
- Broward schools don't plan to arm teachers
- Teacher accidentally fires gun and injures student during safety lesson
- Teacher accused of molesting student for years
- President Trump steps up call for arming teachers
- Freewheeling Trump at CPAC touts armed teacher proposal
- These schools say arming teachers 'can be done right'
- Trump tweets support for arming teachers, says 'up to states'