It’s a sad day when I find myself sitting in the car with my kids and asking them what they are going to do if a gunman enters their school.
No. It is a downright terrifying day!
I talk about it, because I know it can happen in any of our school districts, in any of our churches. It makes me feel like I’m doing something, anything, to have a plan in place. God forbid we should ever find ourselves in the unthinkable moment of terror, maybe we’ll go on auto-pilot; perhaps our brains will remember when our hearts are too scared to beat.
When I was in school, I worried about forgetting my lunch. How did things change so very much? How did we all get so screwed up?
Is it the guns?
Is it the kids?
Is it our ever growing mental health crisis?
Is it drugs?
Is it bullying?
I have no idea what “it” is, but it is evil.
Eighteen shootings on school campuses this year? How can that number possibly be correct? How do we continue to put our kids on a big yellow bus in the morning and just pray they return in the afternoon? The unthinkable has already happened.
My heart breaks for the families, for the other kids, for my own children.
I hate the helplessness I feel.
If you ask your kids and their friends if there’s anyone in their school they’re worried about, whom they think could do something like become a school shooter. I bet they’ll all come to the same conclusion and name a name. They know who has problems too big for the school to fix. They know who is troubled beyond the point of safety, but what can you do?
There is no safety net. We don’t have rules and regulations in place to function within. There seems to be no help for those who need it the most.
I look at our own community and school system. I step up high on my soap box and wag my finger at those of financial means. They all send their children to private schools. I wonder how different our school system would be if those kids were part of the norm, if their parent’s money was filtered back into the local schools. Then I look inward. Wouldn’t I too choose the best for my kids? Wouldn’t I give them better if it were mine to give? I eat a big slice of humble pie and kick my soap box to curb.
I have no answers, only questions and sadness.
A few Saturdays ago I drove my son to school. He had play practice. As we were driving down a back road in nowhereland, Virginia, a man sat in a car in his driveway “air shooting” at our car as it went by. I say “air shooting”, because I’m not really sure what to call it. He didn’t have a weapon, only his hand. He formed his fingers into a gun, took aim, and pretended to shoot us. Should I call it practice?
What world are we living in?
I want to be the one who looks at the bright side and spreads hope, but today the light is dim. I want to be the one who believes one person can make a difference, who lives with eyes wide open to the needs of those around her. I want to be the one quick to help and to forgive and to offer a second chance. I want to be the one who believes in the impossible and sees a bright future.
As I sit here on the porch and wait for the big yellow bus, all I see is heartbreak.
Something has to change.
We have to change.
I pray for the families in Florida today. I can’t imagine their pain.
And I pray for us, for all of us.
Cari Johnson says
Yes, Very well said. My kids are in pre k an 1st grade when they get to middle school or high school if we as parents don’t know what to do now what could it possibly look like 7 yrs from now when they are entering middle. Me as there mother has to send them to school with the assurance that you girls are in elementary these incidents have been happening in middle school an high school. I shouldn’t have to convince them school is a safe place.my 5 year old says mom we practice this we are to hide in the closet or bathroom in our classroom. In glad she knows what to do but I’m sad she even has to fear for this in the back of her innocent mind. I pray they allow god back in schools. I don’t have the answers I just pray for everyone involved!
This was so well said and expresses what many of us are feeling. It seems like there are too many gaps in the system, that a truly troubled person has to actually do something horrible before they fit into a category that meets the criteria for intervention. My daughter is a teacher. When I was a teacher we did not have a designated meeting spot off campus to take our students should a shooting occur. We did not lock the building up like Ft. Knox and eye all visitors with suspicion. We did not feel like a fire drill might be a ruse to get us out of our rooms so we could be targets. The world has definitely changed in ways that are hard to comprehend. I am praying for Florida and children and parents and teachers everywhere.
Debra Cripps says
I think gun control could be a start.
Anytime a tragedy like this happens it makes us stop and wonder what can be done. It’s not the guns – we’ve had guns since before the inception of our country. It’s not games. Shooting games have been around since then too. In many cases it’s the dissolution of the family. It may be fueled by the fame disturbed people see the shooters receive. It may be due to lax security; Armed guards and even teachers with guns could stop this more quickly and might discourage potential perpetrators. But it’s also deliberately misleading news. Check the list of what they’re calling “18 School shootings” this year: “…only two qualify as mass school shootings — the one in Benton, Ky., and the shooting in Parkland this week. Everything else was either an isolated incident, non-school-related, or an accident.” http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/no-there-have-not-been-18-school-shootings-so-far-in-2018/article/2649183
It’s us. We have had guns since the inception of America. We grew up watching cartoons with guns (Elmer Fudd never DID get that wabbit.) We did not have mass killing shootings 30 years ago. We have raised our kids to question authority so much so that they no longer grow up with respect. They play games that kill without consequence. More bodies, more points. No remorse. We encourage independent “me” thinking without raising kids with a team concept. We have wired our kids differently than ever before. Yes. It is evil. Yes. God is the answer. And you just said it, my friend. We have to change.
Well said. I am sure this is the cry of many parents today.