I am very disturbed that adults are encouraging students to violate school rules for safety and order to stage walk outs from school supposedly to oppose gun violence. What could be more dangerous than students getting up from class and leaving the building to be milling around outside unprotected and potential targets? Teachers should not be forced to stand out there or participate in this scheme against their better judgement either.
And who is supervising the ones that don’t chose to participate in this charade? Who decides when it’s time to come back in? The students will, in effect, be a captive audience for whatever radical ideas someone may chose to preach to them. I have also heard the “activists” behind this scheme are encouraging students to stay home from school on another day as well. That is just stupid.
Will walkouts become commonplace when another cause is conjured up by politicos bent on using students to promote it? This is clearly wrong, has the potential for danger and our students should not be used to further political agendas.
* * *
I do not know the politics of Ralph Miller, but his words, “supposedly to oppose gun violence,” tell me he was not listening when the students of Parkland, FL. gathered to speak to the media after their tragedy in which 14 of their classmates and three of their teachers were murdered. These angry, frustrated, and determined students told lawmakers and other “adults” in this society what they thought of our refusal to act in definitive ways against gun violence.
For those who did not hear, or who did not believe them the first time, listen to the words of just two of the students who spoke so eloquently from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: (1) “We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.” (Student Survivor David Hogg) (2) “Never again should a child be afraid to go to school. Never again should students have to protest for their lives.”(Student Survivor Sarah Chadwick)
The fact that students—our children and grandchildren from all over the country—are picking up the ball that we—“supposedly” the leaders of our country—have so badly dropped, gives me hope that there is a solution coming for the devastating gun violence in our nation.
But, if we choose to belittle them, if we disparage our children at this critical time, we will have missed the chance to rectify a great wrong in this nation.
* * *
"What could be more dangerous than students getting up from class and leaving the building to be milling around outside unprotected and potential targets?"
How about living in a gun-sick country where children being outside are considered "potential targets"? How about a situation where the government is so craven and beholden to pro-gun special interests that our children feel compelled to protest in the first place?
If anyone in power would lift a finger to curb civilian possession of weapons of war so our kids could actually feel safe, such extreme measures as a walkout wouldn't be necessary. Instead, children are pushed into what most adults are too cowardly to do.
* * *
It's time to start listening to the youth of America. Gun violence is an epidemic and the NRA continues to add fuel to that fire.
Our kids deserve to be safe in schools. Our LGBTQ kids deserve to be safe from bullying. Our college kids should be safe from Nazis (UTC campus).
The Progressive Youth Movement is ready for changes to be made. Gun violence needs to stop. The NRA members can just cry in their beer.
* * *
What is truly disturbing about this letter is that Mr. Miller never once mentions the deaths of 17 people and the epidemic of gun violence. In Mr. Miller's opinion it is more abhorrent that children might take a political stand than the deaths of 17 people that prompted the action in the first place. There is no empathy for those killed and there is no connection drawn to the actions that led to this student walkout. Mr. Miller seems to think that the nation's students aren't even able to think for themselves and he conjures up a liberal boogeyman who is waiting to prey on the nation's youth with propaganda.
Why would the students be unsafe in the first place in their walkout? Could it be that is that we have done nothing as a society to curb the ability of people to acquire weapons that allow maximum killings with minimal effort?
The radical ideas are in fact coming from people like Mr. Miller as they propagate a strain of anti-intellectualism in this country which projects on others the lack of an ability of critical thinking skills. In Mr. Miller's view, students aren't able to discern which ideas should be accepted and which should be rejected. What is Mr. Miller scared of, could it be that our nation's youth will finally step up and demand that we put a stop to access to weapons that make incidents like the Parkland shooting a monthly occurrence in only one nation on earth, the USA?
Robert J. Mitchell