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- Stay in the Classroom to Defend Democracy - August 18, 2022
- Get Ready to Teach About January 6th - June 23, 2022
- Ohio House Bill 99 is Dangerous for Students and Teachers - June 3, 2022
- Wear Orange to Honor Uvalde and Too Many Others - June 2, 2022
- What I Learned From the Burial of the Unknown Cat - May 24, 2022
- A Teacher's Plan for Elon Musk's $44 Billion - April 27, 2022
- How to Help Unaccompanied Youth in Your School - April 25, 2022
- Why I Don't Show My 4th Grader His Grades - April 19, 2022
Why Wear Orange on June 3-5
This year, on June 3-5, I will wear orange to honor Hadiya Pendelton, a young shooting victim in Chicago, and join the movement her friends started. I first learned Hadiya’s name when I read Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. In January of 2013, Hadiya had marched with her school in the second inaugural parade of President Obama in Washington, DC. A week later, she was shot in the back and killed on a playground. Michelle Obama, who grew up in Chicago herself, attended Hadiya’s funeral. Hadiya’s birthday was on June 2, and Wear Orange began on what would have been her 18th birthday in 2015. Her friends first honored her by wearing the color hunters wear to avoid accidental shooting. It has since become a movement.
A Path for Advocacy of Young People
I will wear orange to bring awareness to the reality that, as of 2020, gun violence is the leading cause of death for children and teens in the U.S. Following the recent tragedy in Uvalde, school staff in my district want to support young people in advocating for their own lives. The annual Wear Orange event can be such an opportunity. I encourage other teachers to help their school communities participate as well. If the school year has ended, you can still use your class website or apps to share local opportunities for your students. Wear Orange events are designed to be family-friendly. If you want to wear orange in a crowd of the like-minded, check out the official “Attend Wear Orange 2022” link to find an event in your community.Wear Orange to Honor Uvalde and Too Many Others Click To Tweet
Mass Shootings are Tip of the Iceberg
The Wear Orange movement seeks to “honor the communities shattered by gun violence alongside the more than 110 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded, every day in our country”. Gun deaths among children and teens have climbed significantly in recent years. Further, around 1% of youth deaths by firearms result from mass violence. Mass shootings strike terror in us for good reason, but the majority of gun deaths receive less notice. On average, of the children and teens who died from gunshot wounds between 2015-2019, 52% were murdered, 40% were suicides, and 5% were unintentional killings.
Ways for Youth to Advocate to End Gun Violence
Unfortunately, gun violence is unlikely to end over the summer. As we plan for the next year, we can put the following tools in front of our students:
· Volunteer for Sandy Hook Promise
· March on June 11 with the organization that Parkland students started following a mass shooting at their high school, March For Our Lives.
· Join the efforts of Students Demand Action to organize in your local school, university, and community.
No one action or change will end gun violence, but we can give young people a way to show up and use their voices to make a difference. And we can stand beside them.
Educators and their students can take part in Wear Orange Weekend 2022 to join the movement to end to gun violence in the United States.
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