As a teacher I want action. As a teacher I want to be able to tell my students that they are safe at school. I also want to tell my students they are safe at home. I want my students to BE SAFE. As a teacher I want this to be understood-gun violence is an issue that goes further than the classroom.
The heated debate for the call for teachers to bear arms has encouraged me to do two things:
- Take responsibility for understanding the issue of gun violence as a whole through research.
- Find ways I can access my voice and power to end gun violence.
How can we take action? How can we turn our sadness, our pain and our anger into change?
I am a teacher, but first I am a student. My research started with Everytown.org, this nonprofit is the largest gun prevention organization in the country. I encourage you to spend some time on this website, reading on the many facets that make up gun violence within our country. This is what stood out to me:
-In America, an average of 96 people are killed each day.
-7 of these people are under 19 years old.
-About 62% of firearm deaths are suicide.
-America has a gun homicide rate that is 25 time higher than any other developed country.
-Gun violence disproportionately impacts the lives of people of color.
In order to prevent gun violence, we must understand where it comes from.
As a teacher, I am enraged. I am frustrated that the issue of guns has turned into an issue of guns in schools.
I have created a new mantra:
Turn rage into action.
My steps to taking action thus far:
- Vote. Find out who on your ballot supports gun reform and head out to the polls!
- End political funding from the National Rifle Association. Use this link to Follow the NRA Money and call members of Congress that receive funding from the NRA for their campaigns.
- Share your voice! March for change. Start a conversation with a friend or family member.
- Make your voice heard. Encourage Call, email, text your legislators encouraging them to keep our students safe by:
- Creating stronger and more thorough background checks for firearm sales.
- Increasing the age for gun purchasing and handling to 21.
- Creating red flag laws. (When a person is exhibiting warning signs that they will harm themselves or others, families have the opportunity to seek help from court to have firearms removed. After judge considers evidence they order an Extreme Risk Protection Order or Gun Violence Restraining Order. This prohibits possession or purchasing of firearms for up to one year. Currently 6 states have passed this law, while 22 states have introduced this legislation.)
Turn rage into action in the classroom.
As educators, we are responsible for molding our student’s perspective of our country and government. How can we demonstrate civic responsibility? How can we engage our students in government a meaningful and appropriate way?
What other ways are you getting involved? Share below!
“Fatal Injury Reports,” Injury Prevention & Control: Data & Statistics (WISQARS), accessed December 23, 2017 http://1.usa.gov/1plXBux’]