An open letter to my congresspeople and school administrators regarding my child’s absence in the absence of reasonable gun policies.
On March 14th, I will wake beside my second grader as I normally do. We will eat breakfast and send him to school. But at 10 a.m., I will be removing him from class and hold him close for 17 precious minutes. I will do this because there are parents of 20 children in Newton, Massachusetts who can’t hold their sons and daughters and because there are 17 more in Parkland, Florida who are forever lost to their loved-one’s arms. I will hold him because our leaders have failed to make common-sense laws that assure me when my boy leaves my arms for school, his body won’t be placed in the sights of an AR-15 wielded by a madman.
If he were older, I would encourage him to use his voice and his autonomy to walk out of class himself. I’d ask him to stand up for his safety like his brave peers across the U.S. who inspire me to keep pushing for gun reform despite frustration, emotional exhaustion and the political reticence of my representatives. But today he’s only 7-years-old. So I see it as my duty to help him fight because he cannot.
All I want is for those in power to be as concerned about AR-15s as the school superintendent is about a peanut butter sandwich in the lunchroom — which is to say: extremely concerned.
The fact is that kids in elementary school need their parents to fight. They need a voice. Because even the youngest aren’t safe from mass shootings. Sandy Hook proved that. And the understanding they are not safe is reinforced every time my son comes home after a “safety drill” in which he is locked down so bad people can’t hurt him.
The last time there was a safety drill (just weeks ago) my son told me his teacher had…
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