IM exchange mostly with a friend with kids in our local middle school, which officially sponsored the anti-gun walkout (see Did your local school officially sponsor a walk-out from school today?). We’ll call his kids Kevin and Kristine (other kids’ names changed as well):
me: [after he posted the school’s statistics on the walkout, roughly 50%] I’m surprised that they didn’t all walk out, considering that it is pretty nice weather. Why would anyone want to stay in the classroom?
other friend: Walking out means you want to ban guns.
friend: I was afraid that if I suggested to my kids to stay they’d be viewed as outsiders. [Kevin] told me that he keeps his views to himself because liberals’ children get belligerent if you disagree with them on this issue. One kid even told him so once. That his mother doesn’t want him to hang out with [Kevin] anymore because of his parents’ political views.
other friend: Your kids walked out?
friend: I don’t know, they are not back yet.
friend: So my kids are back. They didn’t walk out. [Kevin] and [Marsha] (Trump girl) were the only ones who stayed behind in their class. In [Kristine]’s class about half the class stayed. She said “all known republicans or outed republicans”. [the town has only about 2 percent admitted adult Republicans and perhaps 15 percent Republican voters]
other friend: They are outed now.
friend: [Aiden] walked out and said to [Kevin] “i am just going out so i don’t have to be in class”.
other friend: News media coverage is misleading. Imagine if the headline said “School walkout breaks on party lines.”
friend: [Kristine] said that all METCO [state-run program to sort students by skin color and then take some of them off parents’ hands for essentially all waking hours; see Low-effort parenting in Massachusetts via METCO] kids walked out. One black kid stayed behind.
me: [Kristine] will grow up to be like Amy Wax (see “Penn Law professor who said black students are ‘rarely’ in top half of class loses teaching duties”, not to be confused with virtuous articles pointing out inferior academic performance by race (e.g., nytimes, January 31, 2018: “In School Together, but Not Learning at the Same Rate”))
friend: @Philip the Stepford Wife’s daughter didn’t walk out. Closeted Republicans among us. The son of the CEO of *** (acquired by ***) didn’t walk out either.
friend: You should have been here. It was absolutely fascinating to hear how all these kids were coming out to one another. [Kristine] told me her friend who sat in the classroom with her said “don’t tell anybody, my grandfather has a gun”. [Kristine]: ” don’t tell anybody, my dad has quite a few”. girl: “don’t tell anybody, i shot an AR-15 rifle. please keep it secret or i will have no friends here.”
friend: the Chinese kid [Wallace] who lives down the street – moved in from China a few years back also didn’t walk out. His point of view was different – “it’s a waste of time, won’t change anything.” Neutral response – reminds me of Beijing’s foreign policy and my days with Chinese mafia in business school.
friend: [Kevin] said “Dad, you know some of them marched to the center of Happy Valley and back with protest signs. I said, guys why are you doing it here where 95% of people are Democrats. You are trying to convince your own kind of things they already believe in? Fly to Texas and do it there.”
me: Your whole street is going Chinese. [the friend’s next-door neighbor is occupied by a family that moved from Taiwan a few years ago; and, for the record, in case anyone wants to accuse me of anti-Chinese sentiment… some of my best friends are extremely rich Chinese-Americans.]
other friend: Who said “Your whole street is going Chinese … there goes the neighborhood”? No One.
friend: [Kristine] told me some more. She asked the girl “are you a democrat or republican?” Answer: “well, i think on the political spectrum i am near democrat…” [Kristine] said “well, i am a republican”. The girl then immediately went “oh god, yes, i am too, i just didn’t want to say it. it’s so nice to know there’s one of your own kind around!”
Here’s a question… Suppose that a group of children wanted to walk out to protest restrictions on their perceived Second Amendment rights. Perhaps they could cite some folks who were victims of violent crime because they hadn’t been able to purchase and/or carry a gun to protect themselves (so it would also be a remembrance for victims of violence). Would the school sponsor or allow that? If not, how can the purportedly apolitical school support an anti-gun walkout?
- “California High School Teacher On Leave After Questioning School Shooting Walkout” (CBS Sacramento; she needs to go to reeducation camp after asking if a walkout to protest abortion would be okay)