Our students are pretty amazing. Not only my students, or students at my school. Our collective students in the U.S. It has been amazing to see and hear students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas School speak out in all their anger and sadness, about the recent shooting and how fed up they are. They are inspiring.
This school shooting has been the tipping point for many students and teachers. Students across the country are organizing walkouts, sit-ins and protests. I applaud them. They have had enough, and they're right! No student should have to be afraid to go to school. No teacher should wonder if today will be the day they will have to protect their students from death.
The day after this shooting, the anxiety among my colleagues and in the school building was palpable. The sense of caring for each other was, too. I stood in front of the room after my students had left, and looked around the classroom, planning. What would I do if it did happen in my school? I'm lucky to have an exit right next door, but that would require me taking my students to the hallway first. I looked out the window. Below was the loading dock and bus repair garage. If there were a bus there, I could help the kids out the window and tell them to jump on the bus below. If there were no bus there, I would tell them to jump anyway because a broken bone would be better than being killed.
What kind of crazy country do we live in where these are the thoughts a teacher has on a daily basis? What is wrong with us?
It's unfathomable to me that the president actually agrees and is taling about the idea of arming teachers as a solution. WHAT? Pure insanity. In what world is that a reasonable solution? The day that I am asked to attend a shooter training and arm myself to go teach is the day I will leave teaching/education.
I love walking down this particular hallway in my school and reading this display. Each time I notice new descriptions and I am struck by the honest and proud proclamations the students make. Our students are capable of so much. We need to continue providing for them the safe spaces to continue exploring, learning and growing - not spaces they will be afraid to go to. Teachers: this is the time to make ourselves heard. Let's defend our students in the best way we know how: by educating them and others and encouraging them to speak out and stand up against senseless violence and against a crazy government that thinks it's okay to arm our teachers, but cut special education funding.