Student Walkout met with #walkupnotout challenge
Could walking up be better than walking out? It's a feel good idea going around the internet and no one seems to know who started it. The walk up idea is in answer to Enough: National School Walkout planned by students nationwide and here in New Jersey. Students plan on walking out in support of victims and survivors of the school massacre in Parkland, FL and in protest to demand change. Most of that change has centered on America's gun culture on politicians in the pocket of the NRA.
Just some of the NJ schools that have pledged to take part are Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, Westfield High School, Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School, Pompton Lakes High, Central Middle School in Stirling and South Plainfield High School. But what if instead of walking out they "walked up" on March 14? Here's the idea going around social media.
"Instead of walking out of school on March 14, encourage students to walk up - walk up to the kid who sits a lone at lunch and invite him to sit with your group; walk up to the kid who sits quietly in the corner of the room and sit next to her, smile and say Hi; walk up to the kid who causes disturbances in class and ask how he is doing; walk up to your teachers and thank them; walk up to someone who has different views than you and get to know them - you may be surprised at how much you have in common. Build on that foundation instead of casting stones. I challenge students to find 14 students and 3 adults to walk up to on March 14 and say something nice in honor of those who died in FL. But you can start practicing now!" - author unknown
So #walkupnotout is being shared and talked about. I'd love to know who started this. Was it someone who truly cares about the marginalized kids or is it someone who wants to look for any answer that doesn't involve him giving up his AR-15s? I understand the point. The picked on, the set apart, the loner can seethe with torment and anger until it festers and becomes dark thoughts that may one day be acted out.
The thing is, it isn't always about being bullied. Adam Lanza who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary was 20 years old and had no axe to grind against 1st graders he didn't know. But he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when he was 13 and at 14 he was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. He suffered extreme anxiety to the point he was once rushed to the hospital. Yet his mother was dumb enough to keep AR-15 style semi-automatic weapons in her home around such mental illness. Mitchell Johnson who was part of a pair responsible for a massacre at a middle school in Arkansas in 1998 was said to have been sexually molested at 6 and 7 years old and deeply disturbed. Walking up and trying to befriend a lonely student is a noble idea. But it wouldn't have taken the gun out of the hands of people like these.
Here's a thought. How about do your walkout on March 14 since things absolutely need to be addressed in this country regarding gun violence. And save the feel good walking up to the shy lonely kids for every other day of the year, not just one day. It's what should be happening anyway.
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