Wake up America! Which do you love more your guns or your children?
Yesterday I received an e-mail from Teaching Tolerance an organization that provides wonderful materials for teachers to use in helping to create positive peaceful learning experiences for children. Here is the beginning of the letter:
December 16, 2012
Dear Friend of Teaching Tolerance,
When the news about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School broke on Friday, we quickly issued some advice for teachers heading back to school on Monday.
Sadly, we had that advice ready. In the wake of last summer's shootings at the movie theater in Aurora, Colo. and at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., we had decided to write a magazine article exploring ways teachers could help students cope in the
aftermath of violence. We knew that, sooner or later, another national tragedy would provoke classroom questions...
On Friday, the violence happened in school, a place where each of you work every day and to which you will return tomorrow. Most of the victims are children, just like those you teach. Others were educators, like you, who died trying to protect their students.
What does it say about our country, when we have teaching materials prepared to address violent attacks in schools after they happen? What does it say when we recognize the traumatic effects on our children of even one such mass killing and we do nothing to stop it?
Schools have become fortresses with barred doors, ID checks, TV surveillance, and pulled blinds. Children are kept inside all day, windows and doors closed tight so no fresh air ever enters the building, and everyone stews in the funk of wet coats and old sneakers. All to try to shut out the violent weaponry that is legal in this country and the mad person who is free to use it to strike terror in our hearts.
Does a fortress mentality work? Should we now build our schools with no windows and no doors? Should we use technology to tell us someone bad is coming into our school? Lock our children away from their community and nature because it is dangerous out there? No, the events in Connecticut prove this. No door, technology, teacher, principal, or teacher aide can bring down a determined someone with an automatic weapon.
Look at the faces of the murdered children. Look at the faces of the principal and teachers who gave their lives for them - the ones some people think can be replaced by robots or should work for minimum wages because it's such an easy job. Honor teachers who give so much of themselves to the children they teach. Who work long hours after school. Who contribute their own money to fund their classrooms. Who stand outside a bathroom door while a deadly gunman rages and tell their students they love them.
Ban assault weapons today!