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Past Michigan Teachers of the Year weigh in on safety, guns in schools

Courtesy of Matinga Ragatz
National Hall of Fame teacher Matinga Ragatz suggests focusing on student mental health, and bringing back school psychologists.

Students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School today in Florida – their first time back after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting two weeks ago.

The Parkland shooting has seemed to galvanize students, citizens, corporations, and politicians into action. Most everyone agrees something must be done to make our schools safer.

But just what that something should be, of course, is as polarizing as the long American gun debate itself.

On Stateside today, two top Michigan teachers brought their perspective.

Matinga Ragatz was a classroom teacher for 22 years before becoming an instructional consultant. She was teaching social studies and world languages in Grand Ledge when she was named Michigan Teacher of the Year in 2011. In 2017, she was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Rick Josephwas Michigan Teacher of the Year in 2016. He teaches fifth and sixth grade at Birmingham Public Schools.

Ragatz and Joseph sat down with Stateside host Cynthia Canty to explain what they think about the prospect of carrying a gun on the job, what they feel is the best way to make schools safer in today’s world, and how mass shootings have impacted their approach to teaching.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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