“I’d do anything to protect my students. Diving in front of bullets shouldn’t be necessary,” De Elizabeth, Teacher. Every time there is a rise in facism patterns emerge. Extreme nationalism, abuse of women and minorities, vilifying science and education. Each time it reincarnates, facism dresses itself in the trappings of the society it lives in. School shooters are crowdsourced brown shirts for a Social Media age. Mostly young angry men, their hatred molded by a false sense of entitlement, radicalized online, directed into rage that eventually lands on our centers of education. Think of them as the taskrabbits of oppressive ideas. School shootings may be a minority of gun deaths in the United States but they are the majority of our national psychic injuries.
Now we are asking teachers to be front line on the battlefield against misdirected American rage fits, when their job is to TEACH. Now people are rallying to arm teachers and willing to pony up billions for guns when last month school children in winter coats were begging for heating assistance. We always seem to have the money when it comes to military force, we never have the money when it comes to learning. It’s a psychic attack on education that occupies conquered territory in the kids and teachers minds. The message is clear about who and what we value.
The harm this is doing goes far past the torn up bodies to the core of a civilized society. Knowledge. Learning. Ideals. Teachers are less and less able to focus their mental energy on their most valuable work, education. “But let’s pause to think about how dystopian this is: Ordinary men and women, drawn to teaching by their love of children and learning, have to think about scenarios that might typically haunt the dreams of soldiers in wartime...I find myself thinking about this drill day after every mass shooting — which is to say, far too often.” The culture of violence occupying more and more space where learning should flourish.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca