Monday, March 12, 2018
We need to support the students and their walkout March 14
By សតិវ អតុ
This Wednesday I will be working at my job as a substitute teacher for the USD 259 School system. I don't know which actual high school I will be at, but I will be somewhere on the school grounds and I fully support the student's desires to walk out on March 14 at 10 in the morning to take part in a nation-wide student walkout to demand that something be done about the availability of guns in this country, especially by minors and it will also be a demand for safer schools. I think what I like best about this is that students today are using a form of civil disobedience to make a political statement. It is my hope they will learn that this country has a long tradition of such civil disobedience.
The students are learning to directly confront authority. They are learning that it takes powerful action to force the stodgy leadership of this country, including our moronic president and his inept congress allies. It takes direct action to get any results. The students may not get exactly what they want, but by taking such a bold move, they may actually make a difference. Not everyone agrees with me. According to The Wichita Eagle:
"What we do not want is (for) kids to be walking out of a building unsupervised, because . . . that is not a safe way to be able to get their voices heard," said Alicia Thompson, superintendent of Wichita schools.....
....Thompson said Wichita high schools will allow student-led rallies during the lunch hour or before or after school, supervised by staff."
She is not alone. There is considerable resistance to the walkout as it is planned. Also according to The Wichita Eagle:
"The Women’s March EMPOWER branch, a group dedicated to youth-led advocacy, is encouraging students, teachers and others to take part in “#ENOUGH,” a school walkout on March 14 at 10 a.m.
The goal is for students and school staff to walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes that morning – one minute for each of the fatalities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – to urge Congress to “take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation,” the organization said in a statement."
I hope these students will stand up for their rights and walk out at their expected time. This is an opportunity for these students to learn how to develop an understanding of student activism to empower themselves. It is a great opportunity and every adult staff member needs to support the students and their action. I know there will be many staff members who try and control the students, but those of us who are concerned that students learn from this experience need to lend their support. I will fully support these students and their actions.
 Yes, I have chosen to hide my real name, because I don't want to lose my job. I do have to work. Any one who really wants to know who I am can find that out if they want to. I have nearly lost my job in the past for criticizing the school system.