Saturday, March 24, 2018


In days of old when I was a student,
in days of old when I was a high school English teacher,
we might have had a word study lesson in English class.

an adjective,
describes when need or want is sufficient or adequate.
I have had enough nonsense.

a pronoun,
used in place of a noun to denote adequate quantity or sufficiency.
Have you had enough?

 can be used as an adverb of degree.
Yes, I’ve experienced enough of this nonsense.

an interjection.
Enough!  Stop this nonsense.

The students in today’s schools have lessons to teach the rest of us before they can continue to learn traditionally taught lessons on English, math, science, history, civics.

an interjection has become a rallying cry.

The symbol and word began to appear in social media sites after the school shooting last month.
The symbol and the word already denote a visual message that stands for:
No more gun violence.
No more school shootings.

written on poster board and lifted high,
becomes the symbol for a movement.

Using this word as a rally cry,
 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
 unite, organize,
 and bring together hundreds of thousands of other students
 to march in cities across the nation to send a message to the leaders of this country that they want action against gun violence now.

on poster board is now a
oriflamme for
March for Our Lives.

Marchers lift  oriflammes where the cries of their hearts have been written with these words:

Today, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, rallying behind the use of one word, taught me not a grammar lesson, nor did they teach me a traditional word study lesson. They have taught me how much power there can be when one word is used by many voices to send a message.

The lesson these students taught the rest of us today came out of what they have learned in school.

They have learned, many by personal experience, that schools are no longer safe.
187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence in school since Columbine.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 
 have learned that if there is to be change, 
they must be change agents.

students across the nation came together under the rallying cry of 
to teach the rest of us just how powerful a word can be when it is used to send a message of change.

I could not get enough of watching the beautiful brave students from 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
use the voices they found and developed after unspeakable horror visited them when 
they attended school on 
February 14, 2018.
On this date, a gunman took the lives of their classmates and teachers in a senseless act of violence.
On this date, school shootings and gun violence became personal to them.
On this day, they came together with one cry,

These students learned how to debate in debate class,
but soon they were using the skills they learned in debate class to argue for their cause:
there must be stricter gun control laws in our nation.
The arguments they made for their cause were solid, well researched, honest,  and factual.
No longer were these students just preparing for a debate tournament.
They were preparing to present their arguments on the world stage.
Their arguments were soon heard around the world.

These students had learned lessons in civics about democracy and how it is supposed to work.
Today, they showed us what democracy looks like.

They rallied.
They marched.
They demanded change.

They used their voices to show the world and this nation that our Freedoms are beautiful when we use those Freedoms to strengthen our Democracy. 


Today, I have again been proud to be an American.

I sobbed into the dish towel I held in my hand as I alternately cleaned the kitchen and watched the
March for Our Lives
on television as it occurred in Washington D.C.

I sobbed for the lives lost in a place that should be safe: school.

I sobbed as I thought of the trauma and shock and grief  that the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas experienced at school.

I sobbed as I thought of how this trauma marred their young lives and sobbed as I thought of how they will carry this trauma and will have to make sense of it for the rest of their lives.

I sobbed because I was overcome with emotion as I looked at their beautiful, brave faces.

I sobbed as I listened to inspirational speeches they delivered with an eloquence and articulation that we rarely, if ever, hear in our world of politics today.

I sobbed because I saw their respect for our Freedoms and for our Nation, and for each other.

I sobbed because though they were young, they were wise and wonderful, and they were united, and they were honest, and they were respectful, and they were real.

They were a breath of fresh air which we do not deserve to have because we, the Children of the Sixties, have become calloused, and cynical, and have forgotten what it is like to believe change can happen when people march for what is right.

I sobbed because I again believe that the people can and will rise up and speak against:
 social injustice, 
greed, and 
political corruption.

I sobbed because I saw our 
our hope,
our children,
stand united 
giving a message
that says
#Enough is enough.

This bright, articulate, passionate, organized, and intelligent generation 
truly has given me hope for the future.

I join with them by sending this message:
It is time for change.
The lives of our children continue to be at risk.

I hope I’m around for another couple of decades so I can see just what this next generation of citizens and voters will do with the lessons they learned in school.  
For now, on this day, I was so moved, and so proud to call them my fellow Americans as I watched how they were using their voices to inspire change across America.

Not one more.
Not one more student should die at school.
Not one more teacher will have come between a gunman and the students in his or her classroom.

No more school shootings.
Stop the gun violence now.
Protect kids not guns.
Stop the NRA.

Congress, you must act.

Congress, it is past time.  
You must immediately enact a comprehensive bill that will effectively address the gun violence issue in our country.  

Our children have joined arms to 
March for Our Lives.
Our children should never again have to run for their lives.