Many of the readers of this blog have followed the evolution of the #NoMoreEmptyDesks project that is currently underway in a Camden, New Jersey high school. For those who are new to this site, here is a link to the background of this “art as activism” initiative in response to gun violence: Meet the Student & the Art Teacher Creating #NoMoreEmptyDesks.
Last week one of our students was shot and killed while walking home from school. While walking home from school, one of our students was shot and killed. A student in my district was shot while walking home from school, he died. No matter how many ways I write this message, I still cannot accept it as normal, expected, or a residual effect of living in the 4th most dangerous city in America. Our children should never be collateral damage to the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Yet, it happened again, this time in my school district.
Immediately after the death of this promising young man, one who had a college scholarship in his back pocket, ready to graduate high school in June, his teacher reached out in a most profound way. She contacted Christian, the student who is working on the #NoMoreEmptyDesks initiative to create a desk for her to keep in her classroom as a memorial to the student lost. Time for a pause in this story… because sometimes there are just no words for what is happening in our country.