Getting a call from my kids’ school informing parents of activities for a “national school walkout” today in response to the recent deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, made me wonder.

This morning I did what I expect many other parents did. I had a conversation with my children about gun violence.

Given that the walkout involves not just ignoring history but also downplaying a long-recognized civil right, I wondered why professional educators are missing a clear teachable moment. I explore these concerns in today’s Carolina Journal.

After asking dozens of questions that educators apparently aren’t, I write:

Why, I asked, aren’t schools taking the opportunity to teach these things? Kids who might otherwise be bored by history and civics would be paying attention. It would be a perfect time to model an adult response to a hot-button topic: Field questions. Test assumptions. Compare alternative viewpoints. Collect data. Weight the merits. Acknowledge shortcomings. Debate. Treat different viewpoints respectfully.

Instead, if they’re being taught anything, it’s by watching educators react Ready-FIRE!-aim. Or to promote their emotional response without grounding it. Neither serves the purpose of providing education.

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