Dear Editor:

I feel so proud of our school district for making the difficult and courageous decision to allow students the choice to join the National School Walkout protest on March 14 as part of the #Enough and #NeverAgain youth-led movement. This movement was inspired, in part, by the powerful, raw, emotive speech given by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez. She made that speech with her AP Government class notes in hand.

Education empowers. Empowered people lift us all into solution, higher understanding, and a greater ability for compassionate action and change. As a parent of a middle-schooler, I feel deeply grateful that my daughter was respected as a person capable of thinking about complicated issues. I don’t want my kid sheltered – I want her informed. The skills for critical thinking, civil discourse, conflict resolution, collaborative problem solving, and democratic action are not inherent human traits; they must be taught.

It is my greatest hope that all of our kids are prepared for the world they’re growing into and able to be empowered actors within it.

I extend my deepest-felt gratitude to our school administrators and teachers for their decision.