May 24, 2019

Reflections on the Student Walkout

On March 14, thousands of students across America walked out of their classes to ostensibly honor those students who died in the Parkland school shooting a month ago. I found this event to be disturbing on many levels.

First, as a high school teacher for thirty-six years, I know that, no matter how many students walked out of their schools, a large number of them, perhaps a majority, walked out just to get out of going to class. I remember when the high school at which I taught would let students out of school to walk to the local Catholic church to get ashes every Ash Wednesday. Not since St. Peter addressed the crowd in Jerusalem after the Resurrection had there been such a massive number of “conversions” as there were on those days. Students who would have ordinarily reacted to going to church like Dracula would have reacted to a cross were suddenly filled with religious fervor.

Also, the walkouts were supposed to last for seventeen minutes to honor the seventeen dead students, but, according to many news reports, the walkouts lasted much longer. Again, no surprise here. Only a naive superintendent or principal would have believed that there would be a seventeen minute cut-off point.

Second, if the students had really wanted to prove how important this memorial was to them, they should have scheduled a gathering on a Saturday. That way, no time would have been taken away from the real purpose of school—education. And, by having it on a Saturday, they could have included the entire community and made their message more widespread. But I guess that would not have been as much “fun.”

Third, the organization behind the walkout is Empower, a branch of the Women’s March on Washington. On its website, the o in the word empower is a clenched fist, a symbol associated with socialists, communists, anarchists and other ne’er-do-wells. Empower, which hates everything good about America, has declared war on the NRA and is using the student walkout as an opportunity to blame the NRA for the Parkland shooting. So, when I saw a photo of students carrying signs that read, “The NRA supports terrorism” or “The NRA has blood on its hands,” then it was clear to me that the students were not paying tribute to dead students. The walkouts, with rare exceptions, were gun-grabbing propaganda tools for the Left’s anti-Second Amendment agenda.

Aside from the NRA, President Trump and the Republicans were also labeled as “co-conspirators” responsible for gun violence, while prominent Democrats, who never shed a tear when American citizens are killed by illegal aliens, appeared at rallies to voice their support for gun confiscation.

Fourth, the protesters proclaimed that they should not have to fear being shot in school. Well, there are numerous ways that a school building can be safe from an intruder with a weapon. Yes, it will cost additional money, and, yes, there may have to be armed security in the building itself. But it can be done. So, why is that a solution rejected by the protesters? The answer is that the walkout was never a personal safety issue. This was about guns, plain and simple. It was a direct assault on the Second Amendment.

Fifth, I reject the students’ mentality that “my right is inviolable, while your right is negotiable.” When I was teaching, the bad apples who knew practically nothing about their school subjects always knew plenty about their “rights.” I’d like to have a dollar for every time I heard something like the following:

You can’t tell me what to wear because I have my rights.

You can’t touch me because I have my rights.

I don’t have to stand for the Pledge because that’s against my rights.

You can’t have a prayer in school because that’s against my rights.

But now, when it comes to a citizen’s Constitutional civil right to bear arms, well, that’s a different story. That right needs to be severely curtailed or eliminated altogether. Four legs good; two legs better.

Finally, many people are asking an important question: Why were students let out of school for a political purpose? Does any honest person believe that students would have been allowed to walk out of school to protest abortion or illegal immigration or welfare? Think snowball in hell. To make it worse, some students were bussed to rally venues, which means many pro-gun rights taxpayers (including NRA members) had to foot the bill for this blatant partisan political attack. Did the protesters care about such an injustice? My guess is that it never crossed their minds.

If there’s any silver lining in this walkout charade, it might be that perhaps more people will realize that public schools are, for the most part, indoctrination centers promoting a leftist agenda. If you are a parent with a child in a public school, you had better pay attention to what is being taught there. Your indifference may ruin your child’s chances for a happy life.

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Written by
Thomas Addis

THOMAS ADDIS is a retired high school teacher and published author, most recently authoring a children's book, A Gift of Light, which is available at Amazon. An M.A. graduate of Oakland University, he is Associate Editor of Catholic Journal. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cycling.

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1 comment
  • What we really need is “common-sense liberal control.” In the U.S., Liberals are out of control and very dangerous. A gun is no more at fault then the fork and spoon are at fault for Michael Moore’s gross obesity.

Written by Thomas Addis