By: Robert Davis
Derrick Grace II, of Tampa, Florida, shook the internet when he posted a 60-second video of him quizzing his kids about the Black Panthers, entrepreneurship, and self-love while they loaded guns blindfolded.
After his videos were shared more than 100 million times on social media, Grace, 28, found himself at the forefront of a new educational movement he calls “Unlearn and Relearn.” The program is designed to teach students useful skills such as social development, self-defense, and self-love.
“Formal education taught me how not to teach children,” Grace told Gunpowder Magazine. “Schools don’t celebrate critical thinking or free-thinking. They’re really just a place for babysitting.”
The Unlearn and Relearn curriculum contains educational material about guns because, Grace says, “Violence can happen anywhere and at any time.”
Grace’s son Derrick Grace III, 9, and daughter Derrica, 6, are adept at loading magazines into Glocks, MAC 11s, and Uzi’s, fully extending their arms, and pulling the trigger. Derrica has never been to school, and Derrick was pulled out of first grade. The children typically practice with empty magazines, but have accompanied their father to shooting ranges from time to time.
“People want to turn a blind-eye to the world we live in. I don’t care how nice your neighborhood is, violence is a possibility. Nowadays guns are a necessity for kids to learn about. It’s a matter of being able to protect yourself when the situation arises,” Grace said.
Grace’s Unlearn and Relearns method was partially inspired by an incident in 2014 in which Grace had to shoot two people in self-defense in front of Derrica (who was three at the time). The mother of Grace’s youngest child and brother of his current partner were attempting to car-jack Grace. He shot the mother in the hand and the brother in the arm.
“People always ask me why I am teaching them these things while they’re so young, and I have one answer to that. I am a proactive dad. I don’t want my kids to have to learn these things after something bad happens to them,” Grace said.
Photo from Grace's Facebook page
Grace says he has his kids load guns while he quizzes them to test their motor skills and put them in a non-threatening, stressful situation where quick decision-making is still vital.
“Stress around the time of learning is thought to enhance memory formation, thus leading to robust memories,” a study by the Nature Partner Journal’s Journal of Science and Learning found.
Another study by Edudemic revealed stress “strengthens the neural pathways that control the fight or flight responses.”
“If you look at the studies, most kids are only learning for about three hours per day. The rest of the time they are just sitting there bored,” Grace said. “I want to make education fun again.”
Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment policy for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at RobertDavis0414@gmail.com.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock