On this one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, I am remembering the students and their parents and teachers, especially those who lost loved ones.
MSD represents a great public school. Beyond the sadness of that day, we saw what a good public school can be. We saw loving, supportive parents. We learned that with resources and wonderful teachers, students can grow into beautiful, strong, well-spoken individuals.
Their voices are still heard fighting for school safety!
Unfortunately, while schools are mostly safe, safety issues are still a concern.
To make a great America, we must keep our students safe and invest in the next generation. That includes the 90% of our young people who get public education.
Here are some of the problems still facing public schools. These are not in special order. If I left something out that is a concern to you, please let me know and I will add it.
Click on each link for more information.
- Mental health services are sketchy.
- Poverty is still problematic.
- Student homelessness remains a problem.
- Special education services are needed.
- Gun control is still a problem.
- Many schools are overcrowded.
- School infrastructure is old and creates unseen safety hazards.
- Drills can be frightening to students.
- There’s no discussion of lowering class sizes.
- There’s a critical need for school counselors.
- More school nurses are needed.
- Arming teachers and staff remains controversial.
- Misuse of student data, compromising student privacy.
One serious issue is how does one invest in making public schools safe if they dislike the concept of public education?
Consider how Florida is one of the most anti-public education, anti-teacher states in the nation! They will do anything they can to promote charter schools and vouchers.
This unfair condemnation of public schools and teachers also runs unchecked throughout the country.
Just the other day, Donald Trump, Jr. called teachers “losers” and accused them of being “socialists.”
He spoke to conservative students:
Keep up that fight. Bring it to your schools. You don’t have to be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth. You can think for yourselves. They can’t.
He encouraged divisiveness and demonstrated bigotry and hatred. He owes the country an apology.
Public school teachers are America’s public servants. Americans own public schools.
In his State of the Union Address, President Trump said nothing about public schools (only a comment about school choice). He never addressed school safety. Never spoke of pride surrounding the next generation.
This was a terrible oversight, but not unexpected. He and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos want to end public schooling. This will not make America great or our public schools safer.
Our public schools are our public schools. The students in those schools have diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Our children are our children collectively.
We must stand by and support this great American democratic institution and help every school be a great school like Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School!
We must get behind our local schools and protect, not attack them.
All schools must be safe, lovely places, well-funded and supported by the public. We must never give up on the students who attend public schools. All are welcome.
This is our challenge.
And we must never forget the beautiful children and loving teachers who have lost their lives simply learning and loving in America’s public schools.