Paul W. Smith: Walk outs help us remember
“Outta’ my Mind on a Monday Moanin’”
In two days high school students, who’ve done a good job in not letting us forget senseless and unacceptable school violence, will further their cause with a 17-minute “walkout” of their classrooms nationwide, maybe worldwide. Seventeen minutes, representing the 17 shooting deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This Wednesday is the one-month anniversary of that massacre. Look for more walkouts next month on April 20, the seemingly impossible 19th anniversary of the shooting deaths of 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado. Social media has spurred other “mini” walkouts before and after the “big ones.”
Who can blame these kids for being upset? We all should be. Imagine: from the time they were in preschool until now, we adults have not yet figured out a way to protect them in school (nor people at outdoor concerts) in all these years.
Plenty of talk, even more politicizing, but no one has yet come up with an acceptable answer better than the old (and still true) bromide, “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
■By the way, I salute Novi School Superintendent Steve Matthews, whose recent press release, “How Novi Schools Plan To Handle National Walkout” earned him a spot as a guest on my morning radio show. I do wish I could reproduce the entire well thought-out and written release here, but here is how it concludes: “…The role of our staff during these events is to keep students safe, not to organize or engage in the activity during school hours … Our students’ voices are important voices to hear during this time of national reflection.”
Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.