What if children stopped going to school until gun laws were changed to keep schools safe?
That is the radical idea being proposed by former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who wrote on Twitter:
“This is brilliant, and tragically necessary. What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe? My family is all in if we can do this at scale. Parents, will you please join us?”
This is brilliant, and tragically necessary.
What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?
My family is all in if we can do this at scale.
Parents, will you please join us? https://t.co/Yo4wsFuJI5
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) May 18, 2018
Duncan sent his tweet shortly after the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas that left another 10 people dead, including 8 children. And its been just three months since the Parkland, Florida shooting that killed 17 innocent people.
In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday, Duncan elaborated on his radical idea. He said it would be difficult to do, but it might be the only way to stop the slaughtering of schoolchildren.
“It’s wildly impractical and difficult,” Duncan said. “But I think it’s wildly impractical and difficult that kids are shot when they are sent to school.”
Duncan also said that there might be other creative approaches that should be considered to effectuate change.
“I’m open to other ideas, I’m open to different ideas, but I’m not open to doing nothing,” Duncan said. “We will see whether this gains traction, or something does, but we have to think radically.”
The boycott has received some support online from parents and from the founder of Teach for America, Wendy Kopp. Others, however, predictably questioned whether the idea would be feasible. Without schools to take care of children, it would be hard for single parents and low-income families to take part in a boycott, no matter how much they want gun laws to change and for schools to become safer.
Yet some people were still supportive and offered to volunteer to watch children in their homes during the school boycott.
“I’m in — let’s pick a date and start a movement no politician can ignore,” said Jim Manly, Superintendent of KIPP Public Charter Schools in New York City.
Duncan, the former Superintendent of Schools of the Chicago Public School System said the United States was “morally bankrupt” and admonished people for becoming numb to mass shootings in schools.
“This is not rocket science,” Duncan said. “This is not a difficult intellectual issue. What we have lacked is political courage, and we need to create the tension that allows us to break through on this issue.“
Duncan’s proposal is worlds apart from the proposal made by current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who suggested that the way to protect children and stop school shootings was to give teachers guns and train them how to use them.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.