The Obama Administration's Secretary of Education has a brilliant plan to push gun control in Congress: a nationwide school boycott that keeps kids out of class until legislators commit to passing stricter gun control regulations.
He initially tweeted the idea Friday, perhaps to test the waters among progressive activists.
This is brilliant, and tragically necessary.— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) May 18, 2018
What if no children went to school until gun laws changed to keep them safe?
My family is all in if we can do this at scale.
Parents, will you please join us? https://t.co/Yo4wsFuJI5
But Duncan thought the idea was so good that he gave an interview to The Washington Post on Saturday, doubling down on his commitment to back parents who pulled their children out of school over the issue. He even said that if other parents and students participated, he would pull his kids out of school, too.
There's a reason Arne Duncan was spectacularly ineffective as Education Secretary and it's because he clearly forgets to consider the practical implications of his idea.
"It's wildly impractical and difficult," Duncan told WaPo. "But I think it's wildly impractical and difficult that kids are shot when they are sent to school."
Duncan, it should come as no surprise, is currently at the helm of a non-profit called Chicago Cred that "aims to curb gun violence" in an intensely violent city. Duncan was the former head of Chicago Public Schools before being promoted to Education Secretary, but Chicago was done with him long before he moved up. Duncan is most famous, perhaps, for taking a wholly incorrect approach to Chicago's failing schools, and running the system far further into debt.
But as a dedicated member of the Chicago progressive community, it seems Duncan is also wildly detached from his own city. How would lower income Chicago families — whose children are more likely to be victims of violence — keep kids out of school without giving up their jobs? Duncan may be able to afford childcare, but most parents wouldn't. And most kids can't afford to be kept out of school for the length of time it might take to pass any sort of comprehensive legislation.