“Fear is NOT in our curriculum!”
Similarly, the issue of gun violence was not on the New Jersey Council Teachers of English’s Spring Conference agenda, but we had to adjust because our conference fell on March 24, 2018: The date when hundreds of thousands were marching to protest America’s role as #1 in gun violence.
NJCTE organizers added a huge paper sheet where participants wrote their views on gun violence in schools on this make-shift “graffiti wall.”
Written in markers, on post-it notes and stationary, pre-service, current and retired English teachers wrote:
“We are fighting with you!”
“Arm me with Books!
Arm me with Compassion!
Arm me with Empathy!”
“We feel your pain!”
“Our Lives Are Worth MORE Than Your Guns #NeverAgain”
We also wrote letters of compassion and support which we sent to survivors of Parkland, FL, Valentine’s Day shooting.
Although many of us felt disappointed that we could not march with the student leaders, we were grateful to have this outlet to participate with our colleagues in support of the March for Our Lives activism.
Written by Liz deBeer, NJCTE Board Member and editor of New Jersey English Journal
Posted by Audrey Fisch, blog editor for NJCTE