Class checks papers to raise money for Parkland


Tim Eggert

It’s a time-worn question that most English majors face at some point as an undergraduate: “What can you use an English degree for?”

Some apply it to become teachers, others utilize it for journalism and a few employ it to write bestselling novels. Tomorrow, however, a group of English majors will use what they’ve learned to edit papers and simultaneously participate in a national movement for gun regulation.

Students enrolled in this semester’s section of EN 304: The Teaching of the English Language will host the event, “Spellcheck for School Safety” in the lower level of the LRC from 12 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 20.

Friday marks the 19th year since the Columbine High School massacre. The event will coincide with the National School Walkout, a nationwide protest organized by student-led gun control movements.

Taylor Norman, a visiting instructor of English education, teaches the course and had a hand in organizing the event.

“My students and I wanted to do something that could both better other students and offer civic awareness on how to help people of the Parkland shooting,” Norman said.

In exchange for a donation, students will receive “surface error” edits to their essays and writing projects. The members of the EN 304 class are English education majors that focus either on Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) or K-12 English and language arts, and will be facilitating the editing.

Students will point out grammatical and sentence function errors that involve comma placement, introductory and dependent clauses, main verbs and subject identification, Norman said.

“If the students notice writing process issues, then we’ll recommend an appointment with the Writing Center,” she added.

The event will allow students in the course to have an understanding of what it means to be a teacher before entering the classroom for the first time, and give them an outlet to campaign for issues that teachers face, such as school safety.

“It’s important that students have the opportunity to feel what it’s like to have the ‘teacher identity’ before they become the teacher,” Norman said. “I teach students who are imagining themselves as future teachers, and they felt like it was necessary to have a voice now, to address the issues now.”

According to Norman, what made the Walk for Our Lives protest in March so significant was high school students’ defiance of school requirements.
“College students can walk out of any class because they pay for this education, but high school students have to legally be in the building, and when they choose to walk outside of it, they’re making a statement,” explained Norman. “This an exercise students can do to practice their skills while also raising awareness and money.”

All collected donations will be sent to the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund. More information and direct donation can be found at: