Des Moines Teacher Caught Promoting Gun Control Walkout

Des Moines Roosevelt teacher caught using school PA system to encourage students to walk out of school and support gun control.

Earlier this week Michael Shaw, a Social Studies teacher at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, promoted a student walkout for gun control and encouraged teachers and students to contact their representatives about changing gun laws. He did so in a broadcast to the entire school at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines.

Our friends at Caffeinated Thoughts initially broke this story. Roosevelt Principal Kevin Biggs confirmed Shaw used the school public address system to encourage the school’s students to walk out of school and contact their legislators about changing current firearms laws.

Principal Biggs admitted the announcement was not appropriate. According to Biggs the offending teacher, Mr. Michael Shaw, has been talked to about his actions and the error of his ways has been pointed out. Biggs also emailed all teachers at Roosevelt High School stating: “As teachers, I ask that you keep your personal and political opinions to yourself at this time.”  He said. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late in the case of activist Social Studies teacher Michael Shaw.

All teachers, but especially public school teachers, who are paid with our tax dollars, have no business using our schools as a platform for gun control or any other political cause. School boards and administrators must not stand for this. Imagine what the response would be if a staff member used the Des Moines Roosevelt PA system to encourage students to oppose gun control efforts? Or what if someone on the district payroll got on the PA telling students to write their legislators about how armed staff is the only way to stop mass shootings? Somehow we doubt the response to that kind of message would be limited to a “talking to” and an after-the-fact email to all staff…

Make sure politics stay out of your kids’ classroom!

Now is the time for you to reach out to your local school districts and make sure this isn’t happening where your kids get their education. Contact your local school district’s leaders (superintendents and school board members) and remind them that schools are supposed to be objective places of learning and our students should never be used as pawns used to advance personal or political agendas.

If you’re not sure what to say, here are some relevant points you should be raising with your kids’ schools:

  • Students should be free to form their own opinions without being swayed by the personal opinions of teachers or staff members.
  • What is your district policy on staff advocating for personal or political issues?
  • When was the last time it was reviewed by staff?
  • When is the next time this policy will be brought up?
  • What are the repercussions for staff that cross the line and use their position of authority to steer student opinions?
  • What are you currently doing to make sure that your schools remain as objective places of learning and not political recruiting grounds? i.e., What are doing to make sure your school doesn’t end up like Des Moines Roosevelt where teachers use the school PA to push their personal agendas?

When you contact your local school district superintendent and school board with these questions you’ll not only be asking legitimate, valid questions, you’ll also be reminding them to keep one-sided politics out of our education system.

Contact Information for Des Moines Roosevelt Leadership:

Roosevelt High School Principal Kevin Biggs:

Heather Anderson, District One School Board Member:

Des Moines Superintendent Thomas Ahart:

Teree Caldwell-Johnson, Chair of the DMPS Board:

Cindy Elsbernd, Vice Chair:


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  1. James Sandler says:

    I’m a graduate of TRHS, and a law abiding gun owner. This is absolutely unacceptable. I will no longer financially support any of their booster programs or fund raising efforts. Hit ’em in the wallet. #notonemorepenny

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