Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Peggy Shannon-Baker

Committee Member 3

Stacy Smallwood

Committee Member 3 Email



Across the country, policies that allow teachers to carry guns in K-12 schools have become more prevalent. Despite opposition from teachers, parents, and other stakeholders, conservative-minded lawmakers, supported by the National Rifle Association, insist without evidence that arming teachers prevents gun violence in schools (Crews et al., 2013; Keller, 2014; Weiler & Armenta, 2014). Additionally, these policies do not consider the effects of systemic racism on the safety and security of Black students. Supporting such policies does not take into account the insights and perspectives of the communities most affected by these types of policies. The purpose of this study is to share the lived experiences of Black Georgian K-12 teachers who oppose arming teachers to explore how their experiences with racism and racial bias impact their opposition to arming teachers. Building upon the tenets of Critical Race Theory, this qualitative study examines the stories of five Black Georgian K-12 teachers against the arming of teachers. Results of this study showed that racism is a reality for Black teachers in both their professional and personal lives and that their opposition to arming teachers is due to this reality. A fictionalized story was composed from the data and delivered as a two-part Composite Counter-narrative. Considering the livedexperiences shared, policymakers, administrators, teachers, and other partners must consider how race and racism could be a factor when deciding to implement teacher-carrying policies. In addition, the experiences of these teachers lend to further suggestions, particularly those relating to the removal of anti-racist, and anti-oppressive curriculum, talks, and discussions from classrooms. Administrators must foster work cultures that promote and demand critical dialogues about structural injustice and social justice, as well as steps to combat it.

Research Data and Supplementary Material