My book Stupid Schools, Stupid Students: Get Smart draws attention to the urgency for needed changes in American education policies. My latent radical roots from the 1960s are showing.
Children are dying. Education, learning, growing up are no longer major concerns in the minds of young students. Will I get shot today? This is not a question that should be in the minds of our children. This is not a question that should be in my mind when I am at one of my substitute teaching assignments. There is absolutely no excuse, none whatsoever!
All the arguments about guns and the second amendment are not stopping the murders. While adults argue, children are DYING. There is no argument or excuse that makes this okay. Worse, students being shot in schools is now so common that it barely registers as surprising news.
I am heartened to see a new radicalization of our youth. My attendance at a couple rallies adds another body to the protests, but I need to do more to keep the body count of dead students from rising. Dead kids can’t rise. We must stop the carnage.
Protests in the 60s were about an unjust war and a draft that sent young men off to die in Viet Nam. We had the power of numbers and knowing we were right and could stop the war. That’s what I truly believed, so did a lot of protesters. We stopped the war. Maybe it wasn’t that simple, but our voices and bodies together were a powerful and effective force.
Now the battlefield is on the home front. There’s not even a fucking war!
I will not stand silently nor will I let our youth stand alone.
We may have a lull over the summer, a few weeks without a new bloodbath, at least in a school. I think about huddling in a lockdown with a group of 3rd graders who did not have to be reminded to be silent. They were too scared. The adults knew this was a drill. The kids didn’t. Maybe these students will get a break from worrying and dying.
It is not acceptable to have active shooter drills. Securing schools is not just stupid, it is ineffective. It is not going to secure the minds of our children, secure them from wondering if they will be the next to die.
Right after the unspeakable blood bath (tragedy is too clean) at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I was in a high school class when, at the end of the day, the fire alarm went off. I did not know whether to take the students outside in case there was a fire or keep them inside in case there was a shooter. We did go out, all of us looking around to see if we were going to be shot.
I guess the title of my book on education should just be Stupid, just fuckin’ Stupid!
Kids won’t have to worry about education or the future if they’re dead.