I don’t know about you but this has been a tough week for me. I keep going from tears, to anger to shock and I didn’t even know anyone who was killed at the school shooting on Valentine’s Day. It was truly a sad end to the day.
Imagine what the people with students there must be feeling. When I do that, I do start crying since no parent should have to deal with this. And yet, we have been for years and years and years.
My thoughts and prayers are with these families. I lift them up. But, I also realize the time has come to do something so this tragedy no longer happens. I want our students to feel safe at school.
I want to know what we are going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again. When are we going to make it that mentally ill people cannot buy guns? When are we going to reach out and help those in crisis and calling out for help? When are we going to start reporting people who need help and then being sure our concerns are followed up?
When are we going to teach our young people that violence like this is not the way to solve the problems? Sadly, this violence is seen every day on television, in video games, on the Internet, movies, and the list goes on. Some people may not understand the difference between fiction and these stories and real life. When real guns fire real bullets at real people, there is death and injury.
I only wish the young man from Wednesday had known this wasn’t the way to solve his problems. He was angry, had been expelled from his school, had many issues that were posted on social media, and had been reported to the FBI more than once. Yet, he was able to buy an AR-15 weapon and then take a Uber car to the school and open fire.
As the bullets were flying, the football coach shielded his students and was killed in the process. Extreme bravery was shown as well as the utmost in disrespect for life. I am sure that the coach wasn’t the only one to do this that day. So many people — both adults and students — helped each other during that horrible time.
We adults must do better by our children. We must teach them that all life is precious, that all people should be treated with kindness, and that everyone deserves a friend. Also, we must teach them to ask questions or say something if they are concerned about a friend or about themselves.
We must teach them that mental illness is something to be treated as any other illness and not to be ashamed of or ridiculed. It is something that must be treated. Did you know that singer Demi Levato is offering free mental heath counseling on her upcoming tour? She is partnering with CAST to make this happen. Isn’t that great? If only more people would step up and help like this.
It is now time for action. It is time for us to speak up and help each other. It is time for us to teach our at-risk young people that help is available and help them get that help. It is time to not turn our back on those in crisis or needing help. It is time to change some of those who can buy guns and when. It is beyond time. It is time for this to no longer happen.
CNN.com posted the following information this week. It gave me chills and was a bit shocking. Even one of these deaths is too many, and yet here is the list of students, teachers, and administrators killed at schools. Heartbreaking.
• 2018 — 17 killed in Florida high school shooting
• 2018 — 2 killed in Kentucky high school shooting
• 2017 — 2 killed in New Mexico high school shooting
• 2017 — 1 killed in Washington high school shooting
• 2017 — 2 killed in CA elementary school shooting
• 2016 — 1 killed in SC elementary school shooting
• 2014 — 4 killed in Washington high school shooting
• 2014 — 1 killed in Oregon high school shooting
• 2013 — 1 killed in Colorado high school shooting
• 2013 — 1 killed in Nevada middle school shooting
• 2012 — 26 killed in Sandy Hook Elementary shooting
• 2012 — 3 killed in Ohio high school shooting
• 2011 — 1 killed in Nebraska high school shooting
• 2010 — 1 killed in Alabama high school shooting
• 2008 — 1 killed in Tennessee high school shooting
• 2006 — 5 killed in Amish schoolhouse shooting
• 2006 — 1 killed in Colorado high school shooting
• 2005 — 1 killed in Tennessee high school shooting
• 2005 — 7 killed in Minnesota high school shooting
• 2003 — 1 killed in Minnesota high school shooting
• 2003 — 1 killed in Pennsylvania high school shooting
• 2001 — 2 killed in California high school shooting
• 2000 — 1 killed in Florida high school shooting
• 1999 — 13 killed in Columbine High School shooting
• 1998 — 2 killed in Oregon high school shooting
Blessings to you and yours. May we remember to take care of one another. May we truly give a damn and help each other May we not think this is just how life is. May we do better by our children, our young people, and each other. And may we remember to always, always love.
(clip art from Power Point)