This was originally my instructions to students on a day that I could not attend due to winter weather conditions- 7 Mar. 2018. (The attachments mentioned in the statement are not provided here).
Are You a ‘Stooge’?
“Today, I will not be attempting an excursion into NYC as three of the four legs of my daily commute will be experiencing disruptions.
I wish to suspend, for today only, the activities we’ve been doing this week. We’ll resume upon my return. Instead, I want you to turn your attention to the recent announcement of a national student walkout in support of Gun Control legislation.
The tragedy that struck the students, families, and community in Florida on 14 Feb. should resonate with all of us. As a teacher- it affected me. As a parent- it affected me. As a former public high school student- it affected me. However, the lives lost on that fateful day were no more precious than the students who lost their lives or were maimed in similar circumstances over the past 20 years. No single life is worth more than another. They are all priceless.
My views on this matter is clear to all who know me. Students who have mercilessly been subjected to my impassioned academic sermons on the ills of Slavery and Gilded Age exploitation can infer what my views are. I’m not here to tell you what to do or believe. If I did compel you in this way, you and your peers from across the nation would be labeled as ‘Stooges’ (See below). Such a moniker is insulting. It implies that as a US Citizen or resident, your values and political views are vulnerable to the exploitation of persons wishing to prey upon your lack of inexperience and naïveté. The young ladies in my 2nd period US History course know, as recently as yesterday, that in matters concerning equal pay, their greatest weapon is their voice and conviction. The best way to combat the labeling as ‘Stooge’ is to gain experience and the knowledge to combat naïveté. Then, take action.
Despite my views on any political or social matter, I have to hold you to a higher standard. If you participate in the national protest, but have little to no knowledge of the events leading to the protest or the aims of the protest, then you are a Stooge. I don’t want you to bear the shame of that label and I certainly don’t want to be the person responsible for not providing guidance as you exercise your rights as an American.
1. Please read the articles I’ve provided below. They are meant to offer a background to the aims of the protest.
2. The last article on the list will help you understand that the views of government differ throughout the nation. Students in some locales will suffer for their actions in a way that you will not (if your participation is in keeping with principled conduct). The students in those States will understand, to some degree, that the ‘greats’ of the past are often remembered because they sacrificed the most.
3. Continue your own research into the 2nd Amendment debate that has embroiled the outcry after every mass shooting.
4. Lastly, take action grounded on knowledge, conviction, and confidence that the helm of our Democratic-Republic still functions. The citizenry can make ‘national’ course corrections.”