As a former teacher, this speaks to my heart on so may levels and, yes, it is very difficult for someone outside the profession to completely appreciate the enormity of the task teachers are given, even under the best of circumstances. Then, for the idiot in the White House to suggest that more guns in the school is a solution to these mass murders of students and staff is beyond belief.
As a child at school in the 50s, I remember huddling under my desk for nuclear bomb attack drills. Now we have students huddling on the floor for mass shooter drills. This is progress? This is civilization? Sadly, no. This is life in the most warlike and militant country the world has ever known. This may be our last chance. Please support these students who have the courage to stand up and say it does not have to be this way.
We can’t remedy the bullying by taking away the guns. We can’t reestablish the American Dream (so destroyed by “free trade” agreements) by taking away the guns. We can’t overcome the side effects of psychotropic drugs by taking away the guns. We CAN minimize the bullets by taking away the (semi-automatic) guns and MUST do so. The above stated issues and more like them MUST ALSO be addressed.
On April 20, 1999, this all became very real for me as I waited for word from my cousin that her children were spared from the slaughter at Columbine. Fortunately, our family suffered no loss–except for the trauma that is surely internalized to varying degrees within them.
I can’t imagine what it must be like for a loved one to hear that they have a child is in a school under lockdown because of an active shooter. This is so wrong.
This is one of the best articles I have ever read! This teacher is so right on track with her comments. I wish the whole country could read this and perhaps understand what we as a society have done to the future of our planet! Why in God’s name do we allow the NRA and stupid politicians to have such power over us?!
Well, no wonder the author and her students feel afraid – the administration of their school are idiots to force them through monthly lockdown drills for the possible occurrence of something more than three time less likely to happen to them in life than getting struck by lightning. That’s right, you’re more 3 times more likely to get struck by lightning during you life than be killed by a shooter in Kindergarten through College.
Stand up to your school board and Principal Belle and quit doing those stupid monthly drills – they are what are making you afraid. Your school board is living in a dream world powered by fear. Each month, instead of running your normalizing fear drill, instead execute a “compassion and kindness drill” which is all that is necessary to stop school violence. Don’t try to change the Principal’s mind about any of this. Just call a press conference with the local media to announce that during the monthly “time of cowering” you are going to use the time to teach compassion and kindness to your students. That should get the ball rolling. ( Hiding in corners with your head’s down and keeping quiet? From such images the land of the free and home of the brave was surely not conceived. )
Peace, and good luck. Kip Leitner
Agreed. As a former teacher myself I read her progression from trying to save the world to providing a place of self-directed inquiry with interest and remembrance of my own evolution as a teacher. If the answers these young people develop are diametrically opposed to those of society to date is an evolutionary step, as far as I am concerned.
I would argue that increased likelihood of violence is a localized phenomenon rather than use a general statistic. More likely in violent neighborhoods than in gated communities. Using averages can be deceptive.
Because we elect the power-hungry rather than run for office ourselves…?
In AZ we had several sniper-threat shut downs in one year. Some areas are very violence prone.
There is no longer a continuum based on merit. It is structured that way and the Trump administration is the best example I can think of. Teachers are forgetting what they should be teaching mostly because it is dictated to them what kids should learn. I grew up with a teacher and knew what her private views were and which ones I could repeat. I remember having to go to summer school because she had to be a part of teaching program. I kept complaining about my teacher being a bully and could I please do something else. Well, (and this is a once in a lifetime thing) She was assigned with her group to evaluate classrooms and she was assigned to my classroom. I’ll never forget her discussion with the teacher or the vindication I felt.
A very powerful, emotion-evoking, and truthful piece. I’ve forwarded it to my mother, a retired teacher (and staunch, uber-right-wing Republican Trump supporter). Should be interesting to get her response to it; once upon a time, she strongly resembled this teacher and her passion.
I suspect that we are seeing the rise of domestic terrorism created by those who are well aware that their lives are increasingly meaningless and that they have no “future” to look forwards to. The “school shooters” seem to be all of a group who sees little if any “future” for themselves. If we “outlaw” the military styled rifles, they will likely be replaced by pistols, shotguns, and other weapons available to most anyone today.
We’d need European level gun laws at the least, and I’m doubtful that could pass today given the political makeup of the country today. So the alternative is likely to “fortify the schools” in an attempt to protect our children from the “shooters”.
Security expert on the shooting:
Until we address our national obsession with violence guns will continue to be used by outlaws, even if gun laws are changed.
Our president and members of Congress brag about slaughtering innocent people every damned day. One even sings about bombing millions of people who are far less of a threat to us than our own government, (especially those of us with darker skin).
We spend more on our military than the next 20 nations combined, many of whom are allies.
Our police forces shoot innocent, unarmed people with impunity. We have 80,000 SWAT invasions a year across the nation, many for non-violent charges. We have a quarter of the world’s prisoners in a multi-billion dollar prison industry that incorporates slave-labor.
Our government spent three trillion dollars on slaughtering citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan, while our infrastructure fell apart at the seams. "Sorry, no money for healthcare as we spend more trillions on warfare."
We run nearly 1,000 military bases around the globe, but we can’t afford mental healthcare for our kids. We feed them garbage, food-like substances, drug them with powerful psychotropic pharmaceuticals from the time they’re teeny, market to them right from the womb, and make sure they feel like crap to make them into “brand-loyal” consumers for life.
We worship money more than we care about our kids.
All Americans are responsible for this national lust for violence, and until we address the big, fat, testosterone-poisoned elephant in the room, taking away the gun-rights of law-abiding citizens will never solve the problem.
Belle Chesler —
God Bless you!
May your words strike home in all the hearts that see them.
This is one of the most moving, most profound, and most important articles that I have ever read!
These children, soon to be adults, are our most precious resource. Nothing else even comes close. Those who do not see this, those who dismiss them out of hand, those who undervalue
dedicated teachers, those who see Education as another opportunity for financial profit, and those who think the answer is always more guns…all of these to whom an ideology is more important than lives…all of these who fail to see that the proliferation of guns and the glorification of violence are really making us less free; to all of you I say: "Grow up! Quit playing games with people’s lives! What you are doing is immoral and reprehensible!
The NRA has become one of the greatest threats to civilized society. Those high school shooting survivors know this. What will it take for those who are supposedly responsible Adults to learn?
Your comment is true but not relevant here to my line of thought which is what the author should do in her local school. So, I’m not sure why you responded to me.
In any case, Beaverton Oregon is home to Intel and a rich school district. “Over the last three decades, 90 percent of high school or elementary school shootings were the result of White, often upper-middle class, perpetrators,” so from this we see that the perps are over-represented white males. As the saying goes, white boys shoot their peers in schools and black boys shoot their peers outside of schools.
Danza, the Sandy Hook shooter grew up in a barren sparse suburbia on Yogananda Street sprawled out on the old Kearns farm. I used to walk by the cow fields there when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s. I taught soccer to 1st graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School a long tie ago.
In any case, my view stands that people are worried about school violence and instead of focusing on our fear of violence should start attending to kindness and justice. We are a violent nation exporting arms and wars all over the world. Young men in our culture learn quickly that to get respect, you must have a gun. Our government itself is promoting a culture of violence through its global, perpetual warfare project, so it’s hard to have peace at home, including schools, when the nation’s most valuable commodity is war.
All children are our most precious resource. All life is a precious resource that humans no longer respect, consider or understand. What is central to life in todays ethos is money and the things that the propaganda of television and other mass media insist is most important to happiness. Our culture needs to relearn that life itself is to be valued more that anything else.
“We can’t remedy the bullying by taking away the guns. We can’t reestablish the American Dream (so destroyed by “free trade” agreements) by taking away the guns. We can’t overcome the side effects of psychotropic drugs by taking away the guns. We CAN minimize the bullets by taking away the (semi-automatic) guns and MUST do so. The above stated issues and more like them MUST ALSO be addressed.”
Very potent response by WiseOwl to a very potent writing. But what is the American Dream today ? I believe that we need to delete the emphasis on commercialism or at least place parity on moral issues such as helping our fellow humans within the local and world community. We need to condemn constant global wars, our violent focus in entertainment industry which in fact mirrors the violent world that enriches arms makers while poisoning our physical, spiritual and moral lives. We have lost a moral compass. Here in this country while we do not live in a declared war zone with bombs falling but we may as well when mass shootings in our schools have been normalized.