Who Gets to Be Heard?: Questions in the Wake of Parkland
For many of us, Parkland and the events that happened on February 14th still ring heartbreakingly in our hearts and minds. Consoling that tragedy, though, is seeing so many students stand up, rise up, and begin pushing our nation to better serve our students and ourselves.
It's something that has been brewing for years, as Melinda Anderson shared three years ago in The Atlantic. Student voices are becoming more and more powerful.
Still, there are questions we must ask ourselves about why and how we listen to our kids. Some of our students, because of access to resources, may feel more empowered to speak up. Here are some insightful pieces to push our thinking:
- "The Parkland Students Aren't Going Away" - Alia Wong for The Atlantic
- "The Teacher Who Taught His Students to Challenge the NRA on the Day They Lost 17 of Their Own" - Jorge Rivas for Splinter News.
- "Why It Hurts When the World Loves Everyone But Us" - Janaya Khan for The Root
- "Black Teens Have Been Fighting for Gun Reform for Years" - Lincoln Anthony Blades for Teen Vogue
None of these pieces or questions are meant to take away from the amazing work the students in Parkland have been doing. Their voices are powerful and need to be listened to.
But as adults, we must begin asking ourselves why and how we have begun listening now. We must dissect and begin working against the socialized belief that has, perhaps, convinced us that only certain kinds of students are worthy of being heard.
That is our charge—as we call for our nation's leaders to hear us as their constituents, so too must we start listening to those historically oppressed and silenced. Then, we can truly walk alongside those communities towards change, equity, and hope.
Image via Lorie Shaull