By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the National School Walkout to be held on Wednesday, March 14 from 10:00–10:17 local time. It is being organized by the Women’s March as a protest against school shootings.
I am highly in favor of a protest on this issue, actually continuous protest on this issue, as our schools should be one of the most safest places for a child to be. This protest is long overdue.
However, I am declining to participate. Here’s why…
Educators are already doing more than just educating children. We are providing children with food when they don’t have any, providing supplies when families can’t afford them, acting as counselors due to the many traumas children are experiencing, giving them the love and attention they may not get at home, all while trying to meet mandates dictated to us from politicians who don’t know one iota about what it is actually like to teach a classroom of 20+ students with varying needs. We are now also the frontline “warriors” when some disgruntled male wants to exact mass murder on defenseless children of all ages.
Although most of us did not sign up for many of our now daily duties, we have accepted those extra duties in addition to educating our nation’s children because we love our students. However, we most definitely did not sign up to be shot by someone with a firearm intent on killing as many young people as possible in a short amount of time. All educators I know would sacrifice ourselves to save our students, even knowing that may mean our own families lose a husband, wife, mom, dad, or other caregiver. We love the children in our charge that much.
I can’t just walk out of my K/1 classroom and leave my students unattended. I can’t take them out with me to protest since they don’t know what it is about and I may have parents upset that I did so without their permission. My principal would most likely have to write me up for dereliction of duty and placing my students in harms’ way by leaving them in the classroom.
This Walkout should not be another thing on the shoulders of teachers and educators. No, it is time for the rest of society to stand up and say they value the lives of children more than firearms. All members of society need to stand up and say no more children should lose their mom or dad. All members of society need to stand up and say no family should lose a mom or dad, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, or any other family member. All members of society need to stand up for teachers, educators, and most importantly, the children of our nation. It is society’s turn to defend us as so many of us have done for children.
I fully support any student, including my own children, who walk out to protest mass shootings in schools. This is a very worthwhile, and as I said earlier, long overdue action.
But for this particular walkout, I will be sitting it out. I do look very forward to seeing spouses, family members, parents, employees of all types, police, firemen, mayors, city councilors, county commissioners, state elected officials, governors, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and yes, even the President and his cabinet, out on the streets being photographed for all the naysayers to responsible firearm control, on which I’ve already written, to get the message that enough is enough.
Show your children, your children’s teachers, and all educators, that you care more about us than a firearm.
It is time for all of you in society to take the risk and stand up for us.