The Next Question

Jody Britten
5 min readMay 29, 2022

We have work to do. Will you forget next week, when the gut-wrenching story of Uvalde moves on? Or will you actually stick with it and do something?

This last week brought another horror story. A story sadly too familiar to our schools, families, communities, and kids.

This week I saw mom-friends cry, teacher-friends scream, and kids question. It was the newest remake of a few other gut wrenching weeks (Newtown, Blacksburg, Parkland, and the list goes on).

Sadly no one has taken responsibility for a solution. No one has owned the delivery of a solution for our kids.

Educators and education as a field has done enough to protect our kids from gun violence. No matter how much bullet proof glass, how many secured entries, how often we have active shooter drills, or even how many armed professionals we have in our schools, we haven’t seen change.

As of today the most prominent cause of death of children in United States is gun violence.

That is simultaneously terrifying and unacceptable.

No longer is keeping the safety of our kids about seat belts and stranger danger. It’s about protecting them from a political system where inaction is more comfortable than caring.

I never thought I would see the day when our democracy truly failed kids. But here it is.

And until we decide that we really want to do something, that won’t change.

This week I had friends cry on the phone about their fear and anger. As hard as it was I ended each of those interactions asking them to do something. Because there is something to be done. And each of those calls ended with examples and expectations. Because we as a population are not yet connecting the dots.

Our actions start with understanding and expectations.

In Indiana (where the state ranks 42nd in mental health), we will have a new law taking affect in July that will drop gun permit requirements. This comes into effect despite the fact that the law was opposed by Indiana’s top law enforcement official, county prosecutors, and the state’s police chiefs association.

As research suggests, “the large majority of people with serious mental illnesses are never violent…

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Jody Britten

fierce mom, constant learner, writer, speaker, researcher, thinker, designer, gadget queen, advocate for learning that matters & public ed, lead with my actions