Newspaper Headline - Victims

Safety in Public Schools – NEA or NRA?

PORTLAND — If I were a kid or a teacher in America, as I have been in the past, I would not want to go to school tomorrow. If I found myself there anyway, I’m sure I would spend half the day looking over my shoulder to see if there was a kid with an assault rifle coming down the hallway.

It is beyond shameful that in this great country, loudly proclaiming “America First”, kids are last.  Our children are collateral damage along the path of payoffs, bribes, backroom deals and gentlemen’s agreements.  Of all the despicable things the current occupant of the White House is – and the list is long and varied – being a whore for the NRA is the worst.  Anyone with a shred of a human soul remaining and the power to affect change that is not in the pocket of the NRA would be compelled to do so.

The bigger problem is lobbyists in general.  Lobbyists are the single biggest detriment to democracy in this nation.  They routinely sway policy contrary to public opinion, desire and mandates while lining the pockets the of the very officials we elected to take care of us and our interests, and not the interests of big tobacco, big pharma, big oil and the NRA.

Everyone seems to assume that lobbyists are supposed to be running around with unlimited expense accounts and no scruples about how to use them; that they are part of the system.  New Flash!  They are the corrupt part of the system!  Lobbyists need to be outlawed, but of course that won’t happen, because the lobbyists will lobby against it.

In the meantime, our children and teachers are being slaughtered.  We salute the young people that are standing up and talking back and calling bullshit on this disgusting, disgraceful lack of courageous (or any) action on the part of our leaders.  The sit-ins and lay-ins and meetings are inspiring, but they will not disrupt things enough to prompt our representatives to take action.

National Education Association

If the National Education Association (NEA) took a stand, and informed Congress that America’s teachers would not report to work until they felt that updated gun laws (including the elimination of assault weapons for non-military personnel) were put in place in order to create a safer environment for students and teachers, Congress might pay attention.

Teachers tend to be overworked and underpaid.  The last thing they want to do is forgo a paycheck (or several!)  But anything short of a complete shutdown is not going to affect Congress at all.  They’ll just pull the curtains and tune it out.  Now, if teachers don’t go to school, kids can’t go to school.  If kids can’t go to school, parents can’t go to work.  If parents can’t go to work, the country starts grinding to a halt.  Even the biggest ‘friends’ of the NRA are only going to be able to listen for so long to their constituents complain about the real hardship that is being caused before they finally do something.

I suppose that if the NEA amazingly found some collective cajones and did this, they could be vilified.  It would place parents at hardship.  However, if you put yourself in the place of a teacher faced with a storm of bullets headed toward you and your students, with a split second to decide if you will sacrifice yourself for the sake of these kids, and in doing so leave your own kids fatherless or motherless, what would you do?

Is there any rationale for putting our teachers in that position?  If the teachers did walk out, would you really blame them?  Wouldn’t the inconvenience be for the best interest of all our kids – And worth it?

Drastic times require drastic measures.  If the definition of insanity is repeating the same action while expecting a different result, then we are insane to expect Congress to act unless we create a big mess.

NEA – I have tried to come up with another solution, but I fear it is up to you.  Teach us how to stand up and get things done.  Please.



–  REENO  –

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A graduate of Portland State University, Steve Kloser is the author of “Beginning Band - A Guide to Success” and “Let's Make Music - Classroom Recorder Course”.
He is also an accomplished teacher, conductor and composer, having penned numerous pieces including: La Vida and Fly With Me.
Teacher, web developer, Packers fan and proud American, Reeno's usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on issues old and new. Reeno currently lives in Portland, OR.
Read more at or follow Reeno on Twitter at

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