Home > Uncategorized > I Ask Once More: Will The Children Lead Us Again?

I Ask Once More: Will The Children Lead Us Again?

As noted in earlier posts, I am on a vacation away from the internet and so I am re-publishing some posts on “guns in school” from years past… in part to keep the webpage “alive” in my absence, but, as is true in this case, to illustrate ideas that made sense in 2013 are sensible even now. Posts on this topic will continue through April 20 when the marches marking the anniversary of Columbine are scheduled. This post appeared in December 2014: 

Four years ago my wife and I volunteered to chaperone a Habitat for Humanity trip to Birmingham AL sponsored by our local HS. While we were on the trip we had an opportunity to visit the Civil Rights Museum in that city where I learned– or was reminded– that teenagers played a critical role in the Civil Rights movement. It hit me that while I was worried about whether our HS would win the league basketball championship and I was debating the merits of the Beatles vs. the Stones with my classmates my African American counterparts in Birmingham were leaving their classrooms to protest racial injustice. While I was acting in the school play and planning for events with our church’s youth fellowship my African American counterparts in Birmingham were subjecting themselves to high-powered hoses, German Shepherds, police with nightsticks, and nights in jail.

In earlier posts I’ve expressed my dismay over the way we are treating our students today out of “concern for their safety”. While we are not concerned with their safety enough to control the proliferation of guns, we ARE willing to subject them to surveillance while they are in school, to screening before they enter school, and to the collection of data on them 24/7. For all intents and purposes public school students today are being raised in a police state and the adults in our country seem to go along with it… but maybe some of the recent events in our country are bringing this reality to light and might serve as a catalyst for change.

The grand jury decisions involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner are incomprehensible to me and to many Americans… and to many youngsters attending public schools in Denver CO. Their local NBC affiliate reported on the third day of walkouts in Denver schools, listing 16 schools that participated. In this day and age of Facebook and YouTube I wonder if this kind of protest go viral? And if it does, will the police react with the same kind of force they displayed in Alabama in the 1960s? And if it does, will the adults in our country pay attention to   the concerns of the children who are beginning to realize that they are growing up in a police state? And if we DO see what we are doing to our children, do we have the faith in our government and the faith in each other to take out the cameras in schools? To question the madness of encouraging everyone to arm themselves for personal protection? To re-open the doors of our public institutions without metal detectors? And to respect law enforcement officers so they do not feel the need to outfit themselves with modern armaments?

I support the peaceful demonstrations by students and would encourage schools to seize the opportunity to teach children NOW about the need for them to trust each other and the need for us— the adults in their world— to begin dissembling the police state we have created for them.

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