1st Edition

Contending with Gun Violence in the English Language Classroom

    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    154 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Utilizing experiences and expertise from English educators, young adult literature authors, classroom teachers, and mental health professionals, this book considers how secondary English Language Arts can address school gun violence. Curated by field experts, contributions to this volume pay special attention to how a school’s culture and climate affect how teachers and students communicate around difficult topics that are embedded in the curriculum, but not directly addressed. As the first book that helps teachers and teacher educators to grapple with the topic of school violence specifically in the English education classroom, this book promotes young adult literature and writing activities that address timely and unfortunately recurring events.

    i. Preface by Ashley S. Boyd

    ii. Introduction by Steve Bickmore, Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil, and Shelly Shaffer

    iii. Section 1: Gun Violence in Schools: What Does History Tell Us?

      1. Chapter 1. Exploring School Violence as a YA Author by Chris Crutcher

      2. Chapter 2. History of Violence: Guns, U.S. Education, and American Exceptionalism by Paul Thomas

      3. Chapter 3. Unreal: How the Rest of the World Views U.S. Gun Policy by David Belbin

      4. Chapter 4. #NeverAgain: Considering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Student Activists’ Media Representations through a Youth Lens by Chris Goering

    iv. Section 2: Reading About School Violence: Books that Explore School Shootings and Their Aftermath

      1. Chapter 5. What Do We Know? and What Can We Do?: Using Mercy Rule to Help Students Understand the Causes and Warning Signs of School Violence by Jim Blasingame

      2. Chapter 6. Looking for Hope--and Helpers--in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil

      3. Chapter 7. Adolescent Counter-Storytelling: Finding Youth Voice and Truth in That’s Not What Happened by Shelly Shaffer.

      4. Chapter 8. Exploring the Blame Game Through the Lens of the Scout: Reading and Writing about Give a Boy a Gun by Melissa Williamson-Pulkkinen

    v. Section 3: Recovering from Trauma, Finding Allies, and Taking Action Towards Social Justice

      1. Chapter 9. Welcoming Ghosts into Our Classroom: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds by Sarah Donovan

      2. Chapter 10. This is not a Drill: Exploring the After-Effects of Traumatic Events with Are you still there? by Sarah Lynn Scheerger by Maria Hernandez Goff

      3. Chapter 11. What He Knows and What He Will Say: Voicing for Justice in All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely by Alice Hays

      4. Chapter 12. Making Good Trouble: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s March Trilogy and the Lessons of the Civil Rights Movement by Meghan Sweeney

    vi. Section 4: Writing Beyond Fear by Addressing the Issues

      1. Chapter 13. On Rhetorical Analysis, Teaching, and the American Culture of Guns by Jonathan Bush

      2. Chapter 14. Writing through Pain: How Teachers can Support Writing as Therapy for Students Processing Trauma by Jason Griffith

      3. Chapter 15. Writing in the Margins: Students’ Voices in the Aftermath of Trauma by Jim Fredricksen and Joe Dillon

    vii. Section 5: Arming Teachers with Words, Stories, and Power

      1. Chapter 16. When the Gun isn’t Metaphorical: Educating Teachers in the Age of School Shootings by Melanie Shoffner


    Shelly L. Shaffer is an assistant professor of Literacy at Eastern Washington University, USA.

    Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil is an associate professor and chair of English at Aquinas College, USA.

    Steven T. Bickmore is an associate professor of English Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.