Students across the country have been inspired by their peers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The new teen activists seek school safety, protective gun laws and a response from Congress to ensure their futures. They are effectively using their social media skills to get out the message. Now their teachers are following the students’ lead and creating a related movement of their own.
After President Trump suggested arming teachers with guns was the answer to school shootings, a social media hashtag and movement began. Educators from across the country have taken up the #ArmMeWith hashtag, posted photos holding signs sharing and written posts about what they really need to best serve their students.
Spoiler: Books are mentioned. A lot. (Along with more mental health support for students, counselors and social workers, funding and basic supplies.) Here are just a few of the thousands flooding social media feeds.
Tobi Sarah Waldron, a teacher at Lemelson Stem Academy in Reno, NV, shared a post on Instagram and Twitter:
“#armmewith BOOKS BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS!” she wrote. “Books about Black kids, about Latino kids, with female leading characters, about Muslim kids and Jewish kids, Native America kids and non-gender conforming kids! Arm me with all the books so that my students can find their superheroes, the ones that look just like them, in the depths of my library. (Also please send more expo markers!)”
Instagram user “writeonwithmissg” shared this message:
And Instagram user “TheDapperTeacher” wrote this message with his posted photo, “We cannot afford to ignore the truth about what is happening in our country. What is truly frightening is the number of people who refuse to make decisions based upon facts. It is a fact that families sent their loved ones to school and now they are planning funerals. It is a fact that futures were ended when they were just beginning. It is a fact that too many students have lost their lives in a space where they are supposed to be educated and protected. It is a fact that too many people in power are not using that power to bring about the necessary changes that could prevent things like this from happening. Far too many bullets claim our students in the streets for them to claim our students in school, too. We don’t need rhetoric when reality is working overtime. #ArmMeWith the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”