#Sol18 March 14 What Would You March For?

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

7:00 AM

“Why isn’t our school doing a walk out?” H asked me this morning after he heard his 9th grade sister talking about her school’s plan. “It’s stupid. I’m walking out.” 

I didn’t think I’d be the kind of adult who would pause at this. But, I did. 

“Well, why would you walk out?” 

He paused this time. He knew a little bit of information, but not a ton. I wondered aloud if he might be trying to get out of class, or just do something cool. He denied this, but still didn’t have any sort of passionate or informed set  of reasons why he would walk out. 

“You can’t just leave school.” I said matter-of-factly. “The schools that are doing that have it set up. There will be extra security. You can’t just walk out of your elementary school by yourself.” 

Why? I wondered. I felt like The Children’s March documentary was playing in the back of my head. I wondered what kind of person I was to tell my own son not to stand up for something. I believe in peaceful protest, gatherings, memorials. I believe in students, children, hope. 

I tried to articulate my feelings as we went back and forth about the very idea of a walk out. Who plans it? Does it belong in elementary school? Should Kindergarten kids do it? What does it mean to protest? 

If I tell him not to do this, what kind of person does that make me? Should he do it anyway? Would Dumbledore give him house points for that?

Image result for dumbledore gives house points to neville
wwdumbledoredo?

I decided honesty was my best bet. “I’m going to be with your principal all day in a meeting. I’m going to be sitting there when he gets the phone call that you walked out of school. If you tell me that you have thought a lot about this, and feel passionate about it, I’ll back you up– 100%. If you aren’t quite sure why you want to do it, then I’m not sure what I can say. Plus, I’m worried about your safety just walking out of school by yourself in the middle of the day.” 

What do I mean? We live in this neighborhood. He would probably be fine walking outside the school building for 17 minutes. But what would he do? Sit there? Does he even have his watch? Would he get in trouble? Would that be ok? Does he care that much about this issue that I care so much about… even though I’ve barely talked to him about it at all?

He looked at me and thought a bit. “What if I sit out at recess for 17 minutes. I’ll try to get other kids to do that with me.” 

“That’s something I would be very proud of.” I said. And, I meant it. 

1:14 PM

Messages from his teacher, like poetry. 

"Got some people to join." 
"Now they are marching." 
"Moment of Silence." 

4:00 

At home I can’t wait to hear the whole story.  “I’m so proud of you. Tell me all about it.”  

H told me that he sat down, someone joined him so he explained why he was sitting. Then more kids joined, and more. They decided to walk (“It is a walk out…” they realized),  they read the names of the 17 kids. At some point there was research about who these 17 victims were.  Apparently there was even a short speech by H. Or, so the story goes.

I can’t wait to get the whole story from his teacher.  

“Did you slice about it?” I asked. 

“Not yet. Tomorrow. I’ll definitely slice about it tomorrow.” 

“Well, I have to slice about it today, you know.”

“I know.”

 

7:00

We ask the kids, “What are the highlights of your day?”

H says right away, “Well, like I said. I was really proud of how I got a lot of people to join in a memorial for the 17 kids.” 

And then we had a beautiful conversation about the issues surrounding today’s #NationalStudentWalkout. H was more informed and passionate than he had been this morning. He had learned so much. He had researched! He had spoken about it! He had taken action! 

“What do you think about the grown ups on social media who are saying that kids shouldn’t walk out, that students don’t know enough, that kids shouldn’t challenge authority?” 

It was a proud moment for me when my own children looked at me perplexed.

“Why would they say that?”

“That’s stupid.”

“Get a life.” (The teenager said this, and I was even oddly proud of her sass.)

Well, grown ups on social media.. .  I know what I think. My 11 year old who started the day with a vague idea that there was something to march for? He ended the day a proud change maker in training. He learned about issues of school safety, guns, Second Amendment rights, current events, civil rights, and civil disobedience.

He researched. He spoke. He took action.

He learned the power of being a positive leader.

"Got some people to join." 
"Now they are marching." 
"Moment of Silence." 

 

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6 thoughts on “#Sol18 March 14 What Would You March For?

  1. This is so cool. (I got an email from my son’s school saying they were doing a “Kindness Write-In” today about a time they were kind or a missed kindness opportunity. I was like, cool, but why? The email didn’t even mention the walk out so I guess I was kinda not making the connection until we got another email today about it. Lol!)

  2. This is amazing! And I love that even though he had a vague understanding, he was able (and willing!) to learn more and teach his classmates as well. I also love that you supported him but also made him accountable. This is such a great little slice and just great all around.

  3. I am proud of your son! For researching, for getting other kids to join, for becoming a leader. make sure he knows that lots of adults support this!

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