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Beacon Authors Support the #Enough! National School Walkout

High school students protest for gun law reform, Minneapolis, MN, February 21, 2018
High school students protest for gun law reform, Minneapolis, MN, February 21, 2018. Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue

In honor of the seventeen people who died in the devastating mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, thousands of students and teachers are taking part today in the #Enough! National School Walkout. The walkout is also meant to raise awareness about school safety and our country’s ongoing nightmare of gun violence. Organized by Women’s March Youth Empower, the nationwide march starts at ten in the morning and will last for seventeen minutes. We reached out to some of our education authors to join us in showing our support and amplifying the work of these brave students. We share their responses with you below.


Bill Ayers“The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, are standing up, and youth across the country are linking hands to oppose the madness. #neveragain @beaconpressbks #followtheyouth. Yes, solidarity, and never forget that #BlackLivesMatter has led a sustained campaign against gun violence for years. The NRA is a reactionary and racist outfit to be sure, but target, as well, the greedy capitalist gun manufactures who profit off a militarized state, an occupying police force, and a fearful citizenry cowed into thinking a gun is the only answer. This can be a turning point only if we dig deep, organize, and build an irresistible mass movement.”

—William Ayers, “You Can’t Fire the Bad Ones!” And 18 Other Myths about Teachers, Teachers’ Unions, and Public Education


Emily Gasoi“Dear lawmakers,

At last your otherwise ineffectual ‘thoughts and prayers’ have made a difference: they have awakened the passion and ire of a mighty force. Our nation’s youth are speaking with one voice, and they will not be silenced. As Parkland HS survivor, Delaney Tarr, warned in a press briefing, ‘No longer can you [lawmakers] take money from the NRA. No longer can you fly under the radar doing whatever it is that you want to do. Because we are coming after every single one of you and demanding that you take action.’”

—Emily Gasoi, These Schools Belong to You and Me 


Raynard Sanders“It is unexplainable, indefensible and criminal for policy makers not have passed Common Sense Gun Control laws years ago. It is as if we will sacrifice anything for open access for everyone to firearms regardless of its potential danger to innocent children.”

—Raynard Sanders, Twenty-First-Century Jim Crow Schools 


“In their mourning, the students of Parkland, Florida, have decided to become the responsible adults that this country needs. In proclaiming the supremacy of life over money, these students have taken a courageous moral stance that will prove to be the saving grace of a nation that might otherwise self-consume. While only time will reveal how far this movement will go, it seems as though fear will neither silence them nor highjack their commonsense.

In an advanced republic like ours, educators ought to be the shepherds of social improvement. As the future of the United States belongs to the youth, educators must arm students with an understanding of the world and cultivate their agency in shaping it—even in the face of politicians who routinely meet civic action with hostility.”

—Patrick Sylvain