What Goes Through This Teacher’s Mind When You Say “Walk Out.”

How will I protect my students who have noncustodial parents with restraining orders?

How will I protect my students on the spectrum who are extremely upset by changes in routine and lack of supervision?

How will I protect my students who have substance abuse issues and who may use the unsupervised opportunity to make poor decisions?

How will I recover the lost learning time of an entire day?

What will happen to the families with parents who have jobs that do not allow them time off for civil disobedience?

What will happen to the students for whom the school building and staff are protection against their former gang affiliates during the day?

What will the students who receive free or reduced cost school meals eat that day?

How will the students who are administered medication during the day get what they need to stay healthy?

What will happen to my students who are on crutches or disabled?

Twenty-five years ago when I became a teacher, I never thought that part of my job would be having to make the decision every day that I will protect my students to the best of my ability if and when a gunman comes calling. Yet this is where we’ve been for a while. Kids and their teachers bear the brunt of our country’s willful ignorance and greed every single day we have the courage to enter school buildings.

I believe in civil disobedience. Instead of encouraging kids to a mass walk out of school, let’s encourage all of the adults to a mass walk out of work. Or let’s walk on a Saturday to the offices of the legislators who are funded by the NRA and do sit-ins until we are arrested. Let’s picket and scream and get arrested at gun shows and in front of gun clubs and gun stores.

Let’s make life difficult for the pro-gun lobby, not for kids and teachers.

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