Quinta Brunson has highlighted challenges teachers and students across the U.S. public school system face. But there’s one issue she won’t touch on in her series, “Abbott Elementary.”
Brunson told Glamour she won’t be highlighting the school shootings in any capacity — despite its prevalence in the US. She says that type of episode doesn’t fit naturally into the ABC hit show.
“I just think about the day-to-day in a workplace comedy, and I don’t think that that’s the realistic day-to-day in the classroom,” she explained. “There are two different realities. There’s the one present in the classroom where teachers are just trying to get through a lesson. And then there’s the outside perspective of us engaging with teachers through the news,” Quinta said.
The show creator and leading actress also referenced friends employed in the school system. Quinta says on most days, teachers are “just trying to get through” their lessons despite how prominent school shootings have become. Her goal for “Abbott Elementary” is to highlight everyday teaching culture.
“They’re just trying to get the reading scores up. They’re just trying to do this job,” Quinta explained. “If anything, the school shooting thing is in the background, like, ‘F**k.’ It’s kind of like, ‘We got to deal with that too?’”
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According to data from The Washington Post, there were more school shootings in the United States last year than in any year since 1999. The total for 2022 was 46. As of Oct. 3, CNN reports that 58 school shootings have happened this year.
Quinta Brunson Doesn’t Want “Abbott Elementary” To Highlight Political Violence
Brunson also recognizes that making a statement on school shootings can also be viewed as political. This is a lane she’s reportedly swerving away from at this time.
“I don’t want to open up my show to that political violence,” Brunson said. “I consider it that at this point — even the discourse of it is violent. And although I participate in it outside of my show, and I’m a huge advocate for eradicating gun violence in this country … I don’t think my show has to carry that,” she said.
This is one of the few times Quinta has publicly addressed covering school violence on “Abbott Elementary.” In May 2022, she urged folks on X to demand more from their politicians instead of looking for that kind of representation on her show.
“I don’t want to sound mean, but I want people to understand the flaw in asking for something like this. We’re not okay. This country is rotting our brains. I’m sad about it,” Quinta posted on May 25, 2022.
See her full X (formerly Twitter) comments below.
wild how many people have asked for a school shooting episode of the show I write. people are that deeply removed from demanding more from the politicians they’ve elected and are instead demanding “entertainment.” I can’t ask “are yall ok” anymore because the answer is “no.”
— quinta brunson (@quintabrunson) May 25, 2022