My son’s elementary school sent out a notice the other day, asking parents to come to the school to share about their jobs during a special Career Week. I read and re-read the flier, picking it up and putting it down several times over the course of a few days. I so desperately wanted to fill out the form and send it in so I could share what I do for a living with my son’s classmates and friends. But, since my job description is basically “firearms writer and instructor,” I had a feeling that I would be rejected. I picked up the bright blue page one more time, intending to toss it in the trash can, when I read over the part that stated: “We would like to expose our students to as many careers as possible out there in the world of work…” So I decided to reach out and see what would happen.
Here’s part of my email to my son’s teacher:
“I wanted to send you a quick email about Career Week. I would be more than happy to come speak, but not every school, parent and/or teacher looks favorably at my profession. I am a firearms instructor and writer. I have dedicated myself to helping others learn how to be safe and responsible with guns … and that includes children! I teach a lot of safety and situational awareness classes for young people, so they can grow up with that important knowledge. I believe in education, not isolation!”
The teacher’s reply was kind, but cautious:
“Thank you for your email. I think that safety and responsibility is of the utmost importance, especially in this day and age; however, I am going to direct your question to our counselor, just to be sure.”
Sadly, as expected, I received a “Thanks, but no thanks” response from the school counselor. She replied:
“Thank you so much for offering to speak at our upcoming Career Week. Although I completely agree with your stance and fully support your profession, in this day and age it’s hard to know how other parents might react. We are living in a very different world these days and as a school we have to be very careful not to impose our own beliefs on others, especially children. While I hate to say it, we will have to decline your offer at this time. Please know that we value your support and cooperation.”
Remarkable … isn’t it? I wonder what other professions will be represented during Career Week? More importantly, I wonder if any other parents were denied the opportunity to speak to their children’s classes? I sincerely doubt it. But somehow, because I work in the firearms industry, my career poses a threat. The school is afraid that I may “impose” my beliefs on children. What beliefs, exactly, might I impose — that protecting yourself and your loved ones should not be discouraged? That’s not a belief; that’s a right!
What I am curious about is all the subjects and topics that are being taught every single day in schools that I, as a parent, don’t believe in or support … topics that actually DO impose beliefs on our kids. What about schools that openly and freely pass out condoms? What about teachers who force political opinions on their students? Thankfully, that doesn’t represent my children’s schools, but the hypocrisy is sickening … isn’t it?
I have to say that even though I am not really shocked by the response from my son’s school, my heart still hurts. I know that my job is to be safe, practical and responsible. My job is to teach people — to help people — and to share possibly lifesaving skills and information. My life’s work focuses on one of the most important, God-given rights protected by our nation’s Constitution. And yet … I have been denied the opportunity to go to my child’s school and share what I do.
What a backwards world we live in … where so many people outwardly welcome edification but surreptitiously oppress explication.