But when did it become necessary?
The most recent school shooting on Parksdale, Florida has left 17 people dead.
And now these students are calling for action from our government.
They’re asking the adults of this country to do something so this doesn’t happen again.
So it doesn’t become a norm.
I’m not here to debate whether this is a gun control issue or a mental illness this issue.
The bottom line is it’s a cultural and societal problem.
Thanks to social media, the freedom of speech is probably the most exercised amendment.
Which is great(sometimes).
But the problem with social media is that there are too many people just voicing their opinions, debating, telling us what we need to do.
And nothing happens. We vent and then move on.
We’ve become a society where we only think about what’s in front of us at the time.
But the teenagers from Florida, are seeing to it that something actually changes this time.
I’ve heard so many different proposals on how we are going to “stop school shootings”.
One of them came from our President:
This crazy man who walked in wouldn’t even know who it is that has (a gun), that’s good. It’s not bad, that’s good,” Trump told conservatives gathered in National Harbor, Md. “And a teacher would’ve shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.
He also stated that because teachers love their students, an armed teacher woulda even more incentive to protect their students (than a security guard).
As a former educator I have a few thoughts about this.
I would not feel comfortable having an armed weapon at school-it wouldn’t matter if I was at a school in the worst part of town or in the best. Our schools are supposed to be a safe space for our students-but when did “safe space” equate to gun zones?
For my fellow Glee watchers, let’s go back to the episode of when Becky brings her dads gun to school because she starts getting scared of what life after high school is going to be like for her.
Luckily she never fired the gun at anyone, and Sue Sylvester was able to talk to her down.
Why was that? What was different here?
Sure Becky really didn’t want to hurt anyone or herself, she was afraid. She started freaking out like any other teenager.
But you see Becky had a special relationship with Sue, the cheer coach. She knew that her coach loved her, and genuinely cared about her.
In fact Sue got fired, because she claimed that the gun shots that day were from her gun misfiring when she was putting it away (at school btw). All because she knew Becky was going to be ok, and deserved to finish her high school career.
That’s what our students need.
They need to be heard. They need to know that someone cares. And they need help with learning how to manage and deal with their emotions, and other stress factors that are going on in their lives.
That’s the missing piece in all of this.
Many of our students today that are falling through the cracks and showing up to schools with guns are doing it because there is an emotional need that they don’t know how to handle or fulfill.
They most likely don’t even know what that need is.
School bullying is worse than ever with social media. Students are sending Snapchat’s telling their peers to just “kill them self”, commenting negative things on Facebook, spreading videos and images, etc.
But this isn’t just with teenagers, look at how our most recent election went-public slander was everywhere.
Our society has become a place for the self-serving, and instead of bringing each other up, we are tearing each other down.
And guess what?
That’s what we are teaching our students to do.
If we want to stop school shootings (and mass shooting in general), the answer isn’t giving bonuses to teachers who come armed to school.
The answer isn’t putting more community resource officers around the school buildings.
To be frank, that wouldn’t make me as a student feel safe.
It would’ve made me feel scared. What if one of these officers thought they saw me with weapon? Are they going to shoot me?
Is that what we are going to do? Make our schools prisons? (Gives a whole new thought to the school to prison pipeline).
Is that really the best we can do?
Here’s a thought, let’s pump more money into actually educating our students instead of funding prisons, and calling for more armed security at schools.
Let’s meet the needs of our students.
Let’s stop teaching to the test, and actually educate. I
The solution isn’t adding more guns.
We definitely need more thorough process when it comes to obtaining a gun, and nobody needs access to a semiautomatic rifle.
We need to make our schools a safe learning environment again. We need to make it equal for all. We need to teach to the needs of the individual student, and we need to serve as better role models for our young ones.