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I Never Learned This in School

7 Responses

  1. Very moving and profound. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I work for a school district and I agree that our teachers have enough on their plates to become School-Land Security. But, anti-bulllying programs, a few of hours of basic safety training, and awareness goes a long way. Get to know your students, go with your gut, and speak up when something ain’t right. Be an advocate to keep guns out of our children’s hands! What does it have to take to get guns away from children? I thought Sandy Hook would have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back, but we were sadly mistaken. How many more children have to die?

  3. Australia had a mass shooting in 1996 which plunged the country into grief. This was so profound that the government of the day stood up to the gun lobby, made sweeping changes to legislation, and virtually eliminated such shootings from Australia. I have noticed in America there is a tendency to look at the psychology behind the person who does a shooting, or at protective measures in place. Those are important, yet not nearly as effective as eliminating the presence of guns from society in the first place.

    • userdand says:

      I understand your reasoning that without guns, their would be not gun violence. I do get that. I don’t own a gun; not that I wouldn’t, but I don’t.

      In the U.S. in 1955 there was a movie titled “Blackboard Jungle” in which a teacher was threatened by a student with a switchblade knife. In 1961 it was knife fights in the musical West Side story about two New York gangs. Now, it’s guns. Soon it will probably be bombs. I am waiting for the student car to be used as a weapon in the near future. How many devices do we outlaw at the inconvenience of the world at large before we begin to realize we need to treat the root problem? There will always be a certain number of nut-jobs we cannot defend against 24/7/365. There are those among us, however, who could benefit from “treatment.” We need to do preventive treatment, not just healing treatment. In many cases, we recognize but do nothing about bullies-to-be, malcontents-to-be, victims-to-be and others who have no hope and feel oppressed. They respond by oppressing others and acting out in other antisocial ways. You have only to look at the inordinate percentage of non-white kids and adults at the bottom of the education and economic ladder who act out their frustrations in antisocial ways by either “punishing” themselves with violence and abuse within their culture or on their perceived oppressors.
      When “for all” in the Pledge of Allegiance really means an economically, educationally, genetically and generationally privileged few, not “all,” at some point the incentive to take displaces the incentive to earn that which is fast becoming “un-earnable” to even some of the “privileged” whites. It is a thing wars have been fought over throughout history. When you steal the dream, you also steal peace and deny purpose. Rebellion then replaces purpose. We need to return the dream and encourage the purpose. We are reaping what we have sown and we cannot fix it overnight or legislate it away. It will take time and the sooner we start, the better a chance we can heal the wounds and retrun hope. Ask any non-white kid in grade school what they want go be when they grow up. Ask them again in high school if they are still around. What happened to their dream? Yeah, it happens to white kids too, but usually because we give up or change our minds. Most of them see the opportunity being denied beyond their choosing.

      Now, having said all that, what is so different about the psyche of the white male adolescent and young adult with a poorly developed pre-frontal cortes that when faced with similar frustrations and rejection they are capable of mass violence and subsequent suicide? To quote that famous lawman Barney Fife, “Nip it in the bud.”

  4. momfawn says:

    My husband was a martial artist who always encouraged me to train, both for my own safety and that of others. I, too, didn’t want to. Even after spending three hours with a restless and obnoxious eighth grade class (not my own students) as our school was in lock-down and the sheriff’s deputies searched the adjoining fields for a murder suspect, I didn’t want training. I just wanted a good enough relationship with the students to be able to help diffuse their frustrations and calm their fears. I grieve for the victims of these shootings…and my grief includes the shooters. – Fawn

  5. From each of us, we view these through the lens of our experience and our emotions. My initial response is always fury, when I allow myself the space to calm that first response I feel nothing but despondency. For the victims and our society, because we never not once do the right thing. This was wonderfully stated.

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