Stop the Shooting: The First in the Series “Hear Their Voices”

Hear Their Voices: Young People as Our Teachers

I have been inspired by the courageous outcry of the young people marching, speaking out, and mobilizing for social change. It is the passionate voices of young people that was the impetus for beginning a career in education. I learned so much from my students and now I am learning so much from my children. We just need to listen!

While I am no longer a classroom teacher, I am still trying to engage teachers, parents and children to access and grow their voices as well as our collective voice. We can learn so much from each other if we listen compassionately. It is important more than ever to lift up the voices of young people, to follow their lead for peace and justice, to let them teach us how to cultivate compassionate social change.

I am launching a series entitled Hear Their Voices: Young People as Our Teachers. Last week my 5th grade daughter typed up a piece about mass shootings. In school, they were practicing essay writing through outlines. She chose this as her topic and received feedback from her teacher. The assignment ended there, but she decided to type a final draft on her own at home.  I came across it and was inspired!!

If your child, between the ages of 5-18, has written a piece that inspires social change, please email me at I would like to feature your child’s writing on this blog.

Stop of the Shooting 

by Thalia Heckert, 10 years old.

Don’t you just hate mass shootings? Well, I think we should talk to our president about it. I believe we should fix this problem because it hurts our country.

Mass shooting out our country in a bad position. Mass shootings could have an effect, of people thinking of us as bad people. People from outside our country could think our government is weak. Or people could think of us as all bad people, even if some of us did nothing.

Mass shooting causes a lot of people to get hurt, physically and mentally. Many people die just because of mass shootings. A lot of people need hospitalization and, maybe, have to stay there for months with limited time to see their family. Also, kids and adults who went through these shootings could be traumatized, scared of what they had just seen.

Mass shootings could break people up. Maybe a person could hate their friend just because of their opinion about this topic. More importantly, people in government could break apart causing major damage to the country. This might seem rare, but mass shootings could start a civil war just because people aren’t sure if it is perfectly fine or really bad.

In my opinion, I believe we should stop mass shootings because it can harm our country. It makes our country look bad. Also, it hurts people in many ways. Lastly, it can put a wall between people.

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