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.
Published by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN, is a Nationally Certified School Nurse (NCSN), currently in her 22nd year as a New Jersey school nurse in the Camden City School District. Robin is the Director for New Jersey to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Board. She is proud to be a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow and past Program Mentor. Robin is the honored recipient of multiple awards for her work in school nursing and population health. These awards include, 2019 and 2020 National Association of School Nurses President’s Award, 2018 NCSN School Nurse of the Year, 2017 Johnson & Johnson School Nurse of the Year, and the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award. Robin serves as faculty in the School Nurse Certificate Program at Rutgers University-Camden School of Nursing, where she teaches the next generation of school nurses. She was presented the 2018 Rutgers University – Camden Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award for Part-time Faculty. Robin writes a weekly blog called The Relentless School Nurse. She also writes a monthly column in My American Nurse, the official journal of the American Nurses Association. Robin’s work is included as a case study in The Future of Nursing Report 2020-2030. You can follow Robin on Twitter at @RobinCogan.
View all posts by Robin Cogan, MEd, RN, NCSN, FNASN, FAAN
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