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Monday, February 27, 2012

Again

It happened again.  I was driving home from Boyfriend's this morning when I heard about a school shooting in Ohio.  It's heartbreaking.  This time four students were injured while one was killed.  The shooter is in custody, but the damage is done.  

The families of the victims certainly deserve prayers for peace during this difficult time.  The world lost a young boy today.  He was just a teenager entering the prime of his life, and his future was stolen by violence.  Four other young lives were changed forever.  I do not know the extent of the other injuries.  I only hope that those victims are able to recover, and live the lives they are meant to live.  It's not just physical trauma that makes a victim.  I'm sure every student in that school has been scarred in some way.  Their security was ripped away with no warning.  A school they have to attend every day is no longer the place of safety that it should be.  Every child should be able to walk into a school building without fear.  

What happened today is not fair.  It makes me so angry that this type of violence at school is becoming less shocking, but no less devastating.  You hear it all the time.....yeah, he was bullied, yeah he threatened, we just never thought he was the type of person who would hurt anyone.  Was there bullying?  I don't know.  According to one news report, the shooter had been bullied, but I can't confirm it for sure.  Did he threaten?  Again, reports say he did, but I don't know.  Is it an excuse?  No.

It makes me sad that someone can get to a point where they think that violence is the answer.  What did that boy go through to make him take a gun to school?  What makes someone so cold that they can look at their classmates and pull a trigger with the intent to hurt or kill?  That boy was a child too.  In many ways he is his own victim.  He drastically changed his own future by committing this horrific at of violence.  He should be held accountable for what he's done, and we as a nation should try to learn how he got to this place.  Maybe this boy is part of a puzzle that desperately needs to be solved.  These kids need to be saved.  By saving those at risk, how many more lives might be spared?

Bullying is such a problem these days.  It comes from so many different directions, that victims of bullying have a hard time getting away from the cruel attacks of their peers.  To those of you out there right now who are victims of bullying, don't give up.  Hold your chin high.  You are not the problem.  I know it's hard, and it seems like there's no end in sight, but please, don't give up.  "It gets better" has been repeated so many times, that I wonder if kids really hear it anymore.  I hope so, because it does get better.  Hold onto that light inside of you.  You know how special you are even if you think nobody else does.  I guarantee someone sees it.  Someone knows.  Talk to someone....anyone.  Get it out in a way that helps instead of hurts.  If you see a student getting bullied, say something.  Don't sit back and let it happen.  Be a part of the solution.  If you hear a threat of violence, tell someone.  It's too risky to assume that the threat isn't serious.

I wish kids weren't so cruel to one another.  I wish we lived in that perfect world where everyone got along.  We don't.  We probably never will, but maybe, if we watch closely, we can change this place for the better one kid at a time.  

I was a sophomore in high school when the tragedy took place in Littleton, Co.  Even hundreds of miles away, my school felt the fear.  We looked at our classmates and wondered if there was a ticking time bomb among us.  The day we ended up going into lockdown due to a threat was by far the scariest day of my life.  I thought it was happening at my school.  I didn't want to go back.  Luckily, nothing actually happened, but that fear is so real you can almost reach out and touch it.  Over a decade later, and students are still facing school violence.  Today it was Ohio.  I always pray that this time will be the last, but I know in my heart that it will happen again.  It makes me sad, and I feel so helpless.  

I pray for everyone affected by today's tragedy.  I look at the kids in my life and watch them.  I hope that they would feel comfortable coming to me if they felt like they had nobody else to turn to.  I just want them to be happy.  I don't want them to have their innocence taken away by violence.  I want them to feel like they live in a perfect world where people don't hurt other people.  Instead, they are far too aware that this world is anything but perfect.


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