The Castle Doctrine Must Go

By Karen Vieth

The “Castle Doctrine” is falsely born out of the philosophy that one’s home is one’s castle and that protecting one’s family is a priority that should be done at any cost. We must dismiss this premise. To do this, it is necessary to rethink society’s ideas of family and redefine our “castles” to encompass our communities.

It is time to break down the castle walls that have been built on fear and prejudice. I am a teacher; my students are my family. The majority of my family members are not white and live in poverty. And since these students are in middle school, their frontal lobes are not fully developed. The typical student I teach sags his pants and pulls his hoodie snugly over his head out in the community.

The castle doctrine will devastate our kids and families again and again. It makes anyone a target, but some a more likely target than others.

I witness young people making mistakes every day. Any legislation that rationalizes and defends the wrong doing in the death of a child who stumbles into the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing clothes or having an appearance that makes someone else feel threatened must be stopped. Please take a stand for all of our children and families and stand strong in defiance of Castle Doctrine legislation.

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