I wanted to write an article this week where I do my usual thing of taking a position and justifying it or by being argumentative or by provoking my readers into a response. But then I decided: not this week. No, not after this.
The horrific news of the lone gunman walking into a nightclub in Orlando in the United States and killing at least fifty people, not to mention the dozens and dozens who were seriously injured.
Why do people do this to each other? Why does one person feel so angry at other people that he feels that it’s acceptable to shoot them? How can one man feel that his way of thinking is so right, and everyone else is so wrong?
Your beliefs, your skin colour, where you come from, what you eat, who you love; my beliefs, my skin colour, where I come from, what I eat… We are all different. And we’re all the same. We’re human, in all our beautiful, strange, creative, unique glory.
This week I know I’ve upset people. Not because I’ve deliberately gone out of my way to do so, but me simply being me and the fact that, no matter hard I try, I’m not perfect. Likewise, I’ve been grumpy because of the behaviours of others – not because they mean to, but it’s because of who I am and who they are. But we try and let it go. And if we don’t immediately let it go, we try to learn how to let it go.
For whatever reason, the man responsible for the nightclub shooting, and individuals who have carried out similar acts all over the world, was convinced that he had the power to decide who should live and who should die because he objected to who they are and that they choose to live their lives differently to him and his beliefs.
No. One. Ever. Has. A. Right. To. Do. That.
So, no opinion poll this week. No critical thinking challenges, and no practical tasks. Instead, use the time to consider what we as individuals, as communities, as schools – as, you know, humans – can do to stop this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.
Article written by Ben Egerton
This is an opinion-based article designed to provoke debate, discussion and further inquiry amongst your students: