Like many parents, I watched the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. There were several times I cried as I watched parents of the children who did not survive address the National Rifle Association (NRA) and President Trump.
The following week, I asked my fifth grader how his day was. In the course of the conversation of how his rotation got lucky and had two gym periods he says, “Oh and we practiced hard and soft lockdown.” He went on to explain what he was required to do during those drills; unfortunately, learning how to hide from a school intruder has become a normal part of his school life.
It was then that I thought to myself, “Is this the norm for American children and could, at any given moment, their school become a war zone?” Something has got to change!
Fast forward to today, March 14, National School Walkout Day. Parents are receiving emails with criteria for the walkout and the idea that school time is not the time or place to protest.
From a parent’s perspective, I fully support a protest to stop school shootings during school hours. Protests are designed to draw attention to an issue and what better place to bring attention to gun violence in school than at the school itself.
Since we are in a world where we have to set aside time during the school day to teach our children how to stay safe in the event of a school shooting, our schools should set aside time for our children to let their voices be heard during the school day. Today’s National School Walkout is the perfect time for schools to do that.