“We will not permit students to walk out of the building during instructional hours”! – School Leaders Across the Nation
#1 Students want Safe Schools
Students in schools across the Nation are planning walk outs to show their support to end violence in schools. Recent school shootings have caused an outcry from citizens for gun safety. Especially or children! They want gun control. We want to see improved regulations and screening of individuals purchasing guns. Most importantly, they want schools to stop being victims of mass shootings. I believe all Americans want safe schools and communities. Therefore improving gun control and gun laws shouldn’t be an issue but it is.
#2 Gun Control is An Issue
As long as this continues to be an issue, we will continue to have an issue with the ugly surface of school shootings. This must stop. As citizens who are exercising the constitutional right to support the current gun laws and regulations then our students should be able to exercise their right to protest against it. I believe that school leaders and parents should work together for students to have a structured time during the school day to demonstrate their civil unrest against gun violence and school shootings.
#3 Teaching Social Justice Produces Progressive Change
Schools can incorporate ways for students to learn about student led demonstrations, protests and movements. Teaching is the key! Implementing social justice in the schools restorative best practices and curriculum is an engaging tool for teaching social justice. One of the best practices we use at our school is student engagement. The students play a key role in their action success plan, their activities and their behavior/discipline. Service learning projects is also another way for student to implement ways to spread their message of improving gun control.
# 4 Schools are Issuing Consequences for Students Protesting
There are some school districts that are choosing to set parameters around student engagement. They are micromanaging student protests and in some ways working to silence students’ voices. These school districts are also saying that regular consequences will be issued regarding attendance and disruption to instructional time. Some students have looked up companies that support Charter schools that also are supporting organizations and companies that support the NRA. As Educators, we have the opportunity to help guide our youth in a direction to will make our schools safe again. In 1969, the Pike County Superintendent in Georgia refused to let over 40 Black students graduate because they protested against unequal and unjust laws against some students. Students should not be given consequences for wanting safe schools and improved gun regulations. Educational leaders have an opportunity now to help students make progressive change for all.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.