So, we had the walk out discussion which I’m sure most any parent with a high schooler has.
This is our conversation below. Initially, I had planned on telling Kait her ass would be in school and in class getting the education she was there for, but we called an audible.
*Side-note so this isn’t super confusing*
Kait is raised by Derek and I so she’s referencing walking out in support of allowing teachers to arm themselves if they choose.
Our conversation went like this:
Derek: Hey don’t you have a trump shirt?
Me: Uh yeah...it says deplorable...why
D: Kait wants to borrow it.
A: Sure- what are you wearing it for? I mean you can’t totally borrow it but it seems like an odd request.
Kait: I’m thinking of wearing it for the walkout...
A: You know walking out of school just for the sake of doing it is dumb as fuck right and makes you look silly.
K: Well, no I don’t think I’m walking out unless it’s FOR letting our teachers arm themselves.
A: Ok, well I agree with your opinion, but if all you do is stick on a trump or NRA shirt and walk out of school to make your point your proving the stereotype of spoiled hissy-fit-throwing millennial generation. Yes, it might make the news but if people disagree with your viewpoint you will be dismissed as a silly millennial throwing a tantrum.
K: Yeah that’s true - I probably wont walk out that’s stupid when you put it that way.
A: I was going to tell you in no uncertain terms will you walk out of school just to throw a fit but I think Im changing my mind - you can joint the walk out....under certain circumstances.
K: Uh...ok? What
A: you need to do some research first. The shirt you might choose to wear may or may not be the most relevant choice at this exact moment.
K: Well I might wear an NRA shirt I don’t know...
A: I’m not knocking the “Deplorable” shirt, I’m saying you need to go beyond your feelings and know what it is you’re talking about. If your gonna walk out of school and flaunt an unpopular opinion be prepared to have someone question your opinion or the validity of it.
K: <deer in headlights look>
A: Do this and get back to me:
1) Look up deplorable and know what it means both the definition and the pop culture reference
2) Find out what it stands for in current culture and what that word embodies to people who consider themselves “deplorables” and figure out if those values and beliefs are in line with yours
3) Figure out why they’re even called “deplorables” who said it and what context they meant it in”
K: <starts googling> oh- ok, Cool!
A: Not yet - that’s just preparation not to make yourself look like an asshole when someone asks you why you’re wearing what you’re wearing.
Now here’s the action part: see, walking out is a great way to get publicity for your opinion for one day but your not actually directly affecting any change (as in a tangible change you can see immediately). If you’re going to expect people to acknowledge your opinions and act on them you also need to act on them. Find something that you can do that will make a difference. Write the school board, write to your congressman, find a lonely kid and really try to be a friend, step up when someone is being bullied and be their advocate even if you’re going against the grain- and do it every day. Find things you can do that have an immediate impact even for just one person AND DO THEM. If you do all of that you can walk out with my support no matter what side of the fence your on.
Honestly, I still roll my eyes when I think of her walking out of school in any kind of protest, but I guess if that is the trade off for her making an actual tangible change and figuring out why she believes what she believes on her own then it’s worth it...
I challenge all parents to do the same no matter what your/your children’s beliefs might be. If it’s truly a worthwhile cause you won’t only rally for a day with 500 other like minded people, you’ll work every day to change what you personally can - even when no ones looking.
We might not need so much gun control or armed teachers if instead we actually cared a little more about our peers and surroundings.