MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — “A Devastated Teacher’s Plea for Gun Control” is Mary McConnaha’s most recent op-ed for the Education Week.

McConnaha worked as a middle school English teacher in Montgomery County and said she worried about school shootings every single day. 

“Now we’re asking every teacher in America to either have in the classroom or carry a gun and take care of someone who the police were afraid to engage? Absolutely not,” said McConnaha.

A quote from McConnaha’s op-ed wrote, “Ultimately, how can I keep my students the safest for the longest, knowing full well it might be me that goes down? It’s an unfair question that millions of teachers wrestle with every day.”

McConnaha is now on maternity leave with her first child and said her anxiety about school shootings is even worse as a new parent.

“I don’t know how we can live with ourselves that this is the solution that we’ve come to that we as a society love our guns so much that we prioritize them over…fourth graders,” said McConnaha.

McConnaha recently left the k-12 classroom permanently and is moving into a Ph.D. program at Michigan State University.

“I don’t think I’d be leaving this early if I didn’t have to teach through a pandemic… if I didn’t have to worry about gun violence,” said McConnaha.