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High school student Maya Morales, 15, holds a sign during a walkout and demonstration for gun control at a Texas high school last week. (Photo: Jay Danner/ American-Statesman)

I Am a Teacher, Not an Instrument of Violence

I will not carry a weapon in the classroom. I will sacrifice my life, if need be, as other teachers have done, on behalf of my students, but I will not kill.

Camillo Mac Bica

I am a teacher. My goal is to educate, to open the minds of students to important ideas of past and current thinkers. Among so many other things, I strive to encourage critical thinking, to stimulate awareness, and motivate concern regarding the importance of the social and political justice and fairness.

I am a teacher. I have confidence that what I’ve been entrusted to accomplish in the classroom is important and that my efforts can make a difference, perhaps even contribute in a small way, to making the world a better place in which to live.

I am a teacher. I will not carry a weapon in the classroom. I will sacrifice my life, if need be, as other teachers have done, on behalf of my students, but I will not kill. I believe that to do so is to admit defeat, that what I do as an educator has no meaning or relevance, that violence, and by implication war, is the only effective means available for making change, of resolving differences, conflicts, and disagreements.

I am a teacher. It is my responsibility to make clear by reasoned argument as well as by personal example the superiority of forgiveness over retaliation, of love over hate, and of peaceful reconciliation over vengeance.

I am a teacher; an educator and I will not become an instrument of violence.

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Camillo Mac Bica

Camillo Mac Bica

Camillo “Mac” Bica, Ph.D., is an author, activist, and Professor of Philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His focus is in Social and Political Philosophy and Ethics particularly as it applies to war. Mac is former Marine Corps Officer, Vietnam Veteran, long time activist for peace and social justice and coordinator of Veterans For Peace Long Island. He can be contacted through his website at

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