A powerful letter captures a teacher's existential crisis: Would I die for my students?

(CNN)Rebecca Field is furious. She didn't sign up for this.

The Richmond, Virginia, teacher signed up to teach art history -- not, as she says, to "be ripped apart by a spray of bullets that came from a semi-automatic rifle."
Make no mistake, she'd give her life to save her students. But she resents that we live in a time when that's a choice teachers now have to make.
So Field wrote an open letter to elected officials; a powerful letter where she pours out her heart about the way things are, and her frustration at why they are this way:
    At the end of my teaching contract, it says that I will perform 'other duties to be assigned.' I do not interpret these words 'as bleeding to death on the floor of my classroom.'

    A responsibility too great

    Scott Beigel
    Field told CNN she was compelled to write the letter, and post it on Medium, after she read about Scott Beigel, a geography teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was shot and killed as he held the door open for students to escape.
    I imagine that if someone was trying to kill my students, that I would try to save them with all my being. I probably would jump on top of a child to save her life. And yes, I might be one of those heroic teachers that the media writes tributes to after their death.
    But she adds:
    Instead of making dead teachers into saints, make them safer when they are still alive.