“There is nothing more precious to a parent than a child,
and nothing more important to our future than the safety of our children.” (Bill Clinton)
My wife and I combine over fifty years of challenging teaching experience in the public education system of South Florida. We have both seen our fair share of hostile student behavior play out unpredictably in the classroom. Thus it would be no surprise that we would be excited to detour our road trip agenda to attend the “March For Our Lives”protest against school gun violence in Flagstaff, Arizona. How sad it seemed as we passed a local gun shop in town gloriously advertising a weapons sale that day.
On a cold and blustery Saturday afternoon,a large and age diverse crowd would gather near City Hall Square for this spirited yet peaceful rally. Observing an atmosphere of warm friendliness and common unity as we entered, we picked up protest signs/buttons and exchanged stories with early arrivals. A large poster displaying photos of the student victims of the recent Stoneman Douglas tragedy would move me to tell others that I had in fact taught in close proximity to this school at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale. Many I spoke to then also expressed vehement opposition to arming teachers as a practical solution to the problem.
The rally would now begin with passionate speeches by local adult citizens and high school students in the Flagstaff community. The message of deep concern for child safety was very clear from the start as each speaker impressively related their own gun violence experiences. Citing statistics from the National Safety Council that school gun violence has reigned out of control recently (ie. 17 school shootings occurred in schools since Jan.19, 2018), they concurred that a new wave of political action would most readily solve this problem. A long moment of silence would follow in reflective meditation followed by a call for each attendee to share with strangers standing nearby a personal story about what motivated them to choose to attend this march today. The hour long rally would then end with an orderly march of attendees through downtown.
We are proud that we took the time out of our road trip to stand proudly in Flagstaff for revolutionary change in America’s current political system. As we continue our journey, we look forward to volunteering our time for progressivism in the San Francisco Bay Area at the April 14 March for Science. I look forward to hearing from my blog readers any additional ideas for humanistic activism.