It worked in West Virginia.
Teachers were fed up with abysmal pay scales and the inability of state government to properly fund public education. So the teachers walked out and forced the state government to raise wages and make concessions that helped at least placate the educators for the time being, if not meeting all of their aims for full school funding.
Their success inspired similar protests by teachers in Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Colorado with varying degrees of success.
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Now, former Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan is proposing utilizing the same tactics as a weapon against gun violence in our schools, but with a twist.
Instead of having the teachers walk out to protest the rising fatality rate in an increasing number of mass school shootings, Duncan tweeted out the proposal that parents across the U.S. withdraw their students from school en masse until Congress passes gun regulations that will allow for a safe, gun and violence-free school environment.
This is brilliant, and tragically necessary.
What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?
My family is all in if we can do this at scale.
Parents, will you please join us? https://t.co/Yo4wsFuJI5
— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) May 18, 2018
Duncan’s call for mass action to prod the recalcitrant recipients of tainted NRA blood money in Congress to vote for their constituents’ interests rather than those of gun manufacturers comes a day after two more school shootings took the lives of 11 more people.
Those shootings in Texas and Georgia are only the latest in a string of school shootings from the Columbine massacre to the Virginia Tech shootings to the Valentines Day tragedy in Parkland, Florida which reignited a firestorm of political activity to try to overcome the stranglehold that the gun lobby has on the political class.
While former secretary Duncan’s school boycott plan may be difficult to coordinate on the scale in which it would be truly effective, it’s the type of bold action that may be the only remedy for the inertia surrounding common-sense gun regulation that polls have shown 75% of the American people support.
A total student boycott of schools may be an impractical long-term solution to the problem of school shootings, it would certainly make a massive impression on those politicians who need to feel that their reelection is in jeopardy before abandoning the cozy confines of the NRA’s bosom.
Of course, the best mass action we can all take is to vote in the midterm elections this November and make sure that anyone you vote for has a failing grade from the NRA.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.