America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth

By Henry A. Giroux | Go to book overview

9.
Neoliberalism’s War against Teachers in
Dark Times: Rethinking the Sandy Hook
Elementary School Killings

THE TRAGIC DEATHS of twenty-six people shot and killed on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, included twenty young children and six educators. All of the children were shot multiple times. Many more children might have been killed or injured had it not been for the brave and decisive actions of the teachers in the school. The mainstream media was quick to call them heroes, and there is little doubt that what they did under horrific circumstances reveals not only how important educators are in shielding children from imminent threat, but also how demanding their roles have become in preparing them to negotiate a world that is becoming more precarious, more dangerous—and infinitely more divisive. In this case, teachers not only saved the lives of many young people, they also gave their lives in doing so. Teachers are one of the most important resources a nation has for providing the skills, values, and knowledge that prepare young people for productive citizenship—but more than

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