Published Feb. 19, 2018, Tallahassee Democrat
Teachers are heroes every day. Now, It’s our elected officials’ turn.
Countless teachers put themselves on the line every day for our children. Some days it’s a small act, like a hug, a phone call to a parent, breaking up a fight, teaching empathy, resiliency; you name it.
And then there are the big acts — like throwing yourself in the trajectory of bullets from a military assault rifle to save your students’ lives. Whatever it takes; that’s what teachers do.
As a mom, a grandma, a former principal and now an elected School Board member, I call upon our governor and Legislators to take their turn to be heroes. Thoughts and prayers are not enough.
It is ludicrous that our state laws allow 18-year-olds (or anyone else) to buy military-style assault rifles. They serve only one purpose — to kill people, lots of them. It is a sorry state of affairs to inject fear into children by teaching them how to hide or run in the case of an active shooter on campus. Yet at this point, we must.
I don’t think living in the land of the free and home of the brave means our school children should have to hide in closets or our teachers should be expected to take bullets to protect them.
I want our elected officials to be brave and stand up to the pressure causing them to be afraid to protect our children with sensible gun safety reform.
No doubt about it, more safe school money and mental health counselors are needed. But that’s not enough. We cannot arm our way out of this danger.
The young people from Parkland and around the country are leading the way. They say enough is enough.
On Wednesday many of us will gather with them at the Historic Capitol at noon to demand action at the “Rally to Support Gun Safety Reform.” We will rally to ban assault rifles as they were from 1994 to 2004. We will rally for common sense.
The best antidote to feelings of helplessness is action. Bring your children for a live civics lesson on Wednesday. Show them what democracy looks like.
Rosanne Wood is a mom, grandma and Leon County School Board member.