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A Decade of Writing from The Educator's Room on Gun Violence in the United States
Another community in the United States has been added to the roster of sites of senseless tragedy. Today it is Uvalde. Last week it was Buffalo. Before them, it was Oxford, Michigan, Parkland, Florida, Newton, Connecticut, and far too many others. In fact, this year alone, there have been 27 school shootings in the United States.
After another senseless tragedy, we asked our writers to share their thoughts. But we weren't ready. We didn't have words. Only shock and grief.
So rather than going through the motions of shock, grief, and anger once more, we're offering 10-plus years' worth of writing on gun violence and school shootings. Over the years, we've published almost 30 pieces begging for an end to gun violence in America. They serve as a gut-wrenching indictment of our country's decades-long failure to protect its children, educators, and others from senseless gun violence.
We didn't have to go far back for the last post. Just last week, a white supremacist murdered 10 innocent Black people while they were shopping for groceries.
Three years ago, we marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine Shooting with similar exhaustion and sadness as today.
We've thought about the impact of gun violence on students and shared their experiences as well.After Another School Shooting, No More Words. Click To Tweet
We reflected on how to use our voices as educators in the classroom and beyond.
Throughout the years, we've sought answers to end gun violence.
At times we looked to our students for inspiration, such as when Stoneman Douglas students organized the March for Our Lives. When they took action, we looked for ways to show solidarity.
The Parkland shooting and the March for Our Lives seemed to be an inflection point. In our grief, we dared to hope for change. But over the years, nothing changed. Instead, we marked somber anniversaries and began to acknowledge that gun violence is endemic to teaching in the United States.
Over and over again, our writers made it clear. This is not okay. We are not interested in being armed. Lockdowns and active shooter drills in place of common-sense gun safety laws do not make us feel safe. They traumatize our students and us.
And these are just some of the posts we've written about mass shootings and school shootings. School shootings have become such a defining characteristic of education in the United States that there are likely many more pieces of our writing that mention them in passing. In addition, we've written dozens of posts about police shootings and other forms of gun violence which disproportionately harm Black and Brown communities.
Educators are tired. We're tired of asking again and again for an end to the violence that takes young lives and the lives of our colleagues. We should have been done writing after Columbine. After Sandy Hook. After Parkland. Enough is enough.
There are many meaningful ways to take action against gun violence in your community and the United States. If you’re looking for a place to start here are a few ideas:
Support BIPOC youth-led organizations like Youth Over Guns.
Use EveryTown's ToolKit to help your students demand action and take part in a national walkout on Thursday, May 26th.
To connect with Moms Demand Action, a nationwide organization fighting for stronger gun safety laws, text ACT to 644-33.
To learn about community-based violence intervention programs like Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings, visit 1 Million Experiments. 1 Million Experiments is an effort to collect abolitionist projects taking place across the world.
Call your Senator to demand they pass HR 8 which would require and strengthen background checks on all gun sales. If they already support the bill, you can thank them for their support.