You can’t have a shooting without first having a gun | Letter to the editor

A letter in response to a letter about banning public schools to prevent school shootings.

Michelle Darnell’s “Don’t ban guns, ban government schools” letter (Kirkland Reporter, March 2) is a draconian scheme rather than a solution to the epidemic of U.S. school shootings. Darnell advocates that we focus on “school” rather than “shootings” and end public education, spending our tax dollars on private and unproven charter schools.

She ignores the fact that one cannot have a shooting without first having a gun.

She also ignores the fact that private schools have an admissions process; in other words, just because you want to go to that private school doesn’t mean that it will accept you as a student. Public schools serve any child within their district. They don’t get to pick and choose.

Right now, 90 percent of all pre-kindergarten to 12th grade U.S. students attend public schools, making public education the primary way that we educate our future generations of workers, leaders, innovators, scientists and politicians. According to the Council for American Private Education, private schools comprise 25 percent of U.S. PreK-12 schools, but enroll only 10 percent of U.S. students, with an average 2011-12 tuition of $13,640 annually. Furthermore, 79 percent of private school students attend religiously affiliated schools.

Libertarians and the GOP have long worked to undermine public education, not only by undercutting the U.S. Department of Education, but by also by decimating the funding that public schools receive. Their ideals are embodied in the extreme anti-education agendas that Trump and DeVos advocate. The end goal is to shunt tax dollars into religiously affiliated schools and reduce the level of education for everyday Americans.

Is this what we want for our children — a bleak future with increasing income inequality and diminishing opportunities? Or do we want our children to get the education they need in a safe environment so they can lead our country into a golden age of prosperity for all?

Eve Gordon,

Issaquah

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