A most formidable first grade teacher

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Yosemite Gam Gam

Ruining the satirical punch of half-rate YA dystopias everywhere, the White House has suggested that teachers be trained to carry firearms in the classroom. Though most pedagogues are understandably horrified, some are thrilled—including a few who might surprise even the policy’s proponents. In a recent interview, education secretary Betsy DeVos noted that she could not imagine her own first grade teacher, Irma Borhoff, “having a gun and being trained in that way.” We checked in with Borhoff, who still teaches six-year-olds, to verify the secretary’s response. She spoke with us while her students finger-painted.

“Betsy was right in a way. Bullets aren’t my thing. But I’m really adept with a fully automated crossbow for longer-range threats, as well as those darn pigeons outside my condo,” Borhoff acknowledged. “And because of my years of ninjutsu training, I have an attachment to the traditional items—you know, shuriken, the katana, or simply a staff. But I’m not getting any younger, and sometimes in the middle of training—” here Borhoff broke off to gently remind one of her students that paint belongs on the paper, not on the floor. “Sometimes after a roundhouse kick that flattens my aggressor, as I wrap my knee around his neck to cut off his air supply, I wonder if it might be easier on these old bones to spend some of these hours at the firing range instead. Billy, your mother won’t be happy if you paint your shoes, sweetheart.”

The second-grade teacher in the room next to Borhoff’s, Fester Adams, had more to add. Adams admitted that he spent less time outside of class in weapons training, “only about six to ten hours a week, because the kids are rehearsing a play right now. When we finish putting on 'Winnie the Pooh and the Big Birthday,' I’ll be able to spend a few more hours each night honing my defense and combat techniques.” At this point, Adams adjusted his Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm as he knelt to join his class’s morning sharing circle. “Millie, I hear you have a new kitten at home. Would you like to share about that?”

Asked for her final thoughts, Borhoff added, “I just think it’s going to make such a big difference to—Jimmy, honey, stop, you’re getting blue paint on the holster.”