From the mouths of babes…

This conversation started today when I was talking about how we should respect the flag / our soldiers (right before we were to recite the pledge of allegiance). I was just trying to get the kids to understand why we stand still during the pledge and how we should act etc.:

Me – “…now class we should respect our soldiers no matter our beliefs because they are only trying to protect our rights and…”

“But they be sinnin’… They be sinners.” – JW

“Excuse me?” – Me

“They killin’ people. They usin’ guns. Why they gotta use guns? That ain’t right. They should use their mouths.” – JW

I don’t know how to respond at this point, but I don’t have to as the others in the class continue….

“Yeah why do they use guns? They shouldn’t be violent. They don’t need to kill people! Just breathe people!” -AD

“How do wars start?” – NF

“Yeah yeah why don’t they jus’ talk things out?” -JS 

“Why do wars start? But how? But why?” – NF

At this point the class is breaking out into questions and exclamations about war and violence, and I honestly didn’t know how to respond to a class full of 8 year olds who wanted to know why people still killed each other in this day and age… That’s a conversation you’d expect in a college philosophy class, not a third grade classroom. How do you explain to eight year olds why and how wars start and why people are still killing one another when you still have the same questions yourself?

These kids, these kids who are just statistics to the government because of their races and their families’ incomes and education levels, these kids who are below the poverty line, these kids who are failing academically, these kids are smarter than they will ever know and they have more smarts and heart than they’ll ever be given credit for….please don’t let them ever stop questioning the system. 

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