Saturday, December 14, 2013

Remembering Newtown - One Year Later

I wrote and shared this on Facebook one year ago.  I thought I'd share it here too.

One year ago we learned a tragic lesson about our society and safety in our schools. I wrote a long post, something I rarely do, that so many of you supported. Have we learned anything in this year? I thought I'd, here goes:
Yesterday's tragedy has compelled me to write. I probably won't get a single like or comment, but that's OK. Free speech is a wonderful thing.

I've spent nearly my entire life in a school. First as a student, in elementary and high school; as a college student, studying to be a teacher, and as a teacher for the past 26 or 27 years. I've always felt safe there. Unfortunately, there have been several school tragedies, but this one, shook me to the core. I see the faces of all the students that I have had in my classes, as well as the ones who now stop me in the hall to say hello, tell me about their day, or give me a hug. The faces of innocence. It breaks my heart that the children of Sandy Hook Elementary have had that taken away.

People will say that guns are the problem. Those of you who know me, know I do not agree. I grew up with guns. My Dad was a gunsmith and a Federal Firearms Dealer. We had guns all over the house. Most of the people I grew up with also had guns at their house. We were taught how to use them and to respect them. No one ever shot up a school when I was growing up.

Fast forward to today. We've had many tragedies and there are those say, "If we outlawed guns, we wouldn't have this problem". Yes we would, the true problem is the broken people. I'm no psychologist, but I'm sure there are countless reasons for people to be broken. These individuals will always find a way to hurt others if they want to. Making something illegal will not take it away.

What do we do? Start paying attention to our children. BE A PARENT! Don't give your children everything they want. Give them real consequences for their actions and be aware of what they are exposed to in the media. They should not be on Facebook. I can't tell you how many friend requests that I have blocked from elementary students. A 6 year-old does not need a new i-phone, nor should he/she be allowed to play Call of Duty Black Ops. (Yes, these are true stories. I have had parents tell me this about their children more times than I can count!)

If you know of someone who is struggling. Help them. Show your children that you care - about them and others.

I'd also like to ask the media to stop glamorizing/sensationalizing tragic events. We need to focus more on the good in people.

Do something kind today.
Love and prayers for all of us.


Kim. said...

Ann I totally agree. Whilst I was teaching I couldn't count the times of hearing parents almost brag about what little johnny did, played etc and laughing about it, it always turned my stomach to think how those children would turn out. In fact just from my last year one is in prison for armed robbery and another is dead due to getting involved with the wrong kind and ended up being stabbed to death.
I certainly think parenting has a lot to do with the children's ways and outlooks on life in general. No one wants to help anyone else, they are all too wrapped up in their own little lives and certainly don't see that others can be a lot worse off than themselves in more ways than one.
Kim xXx

Tamytha said...

I missed your original post, so I'm glad you reposted. I'm a teacher, too...10 years. I spent 9 of those years at a title I school and I've heard many a story. I'm not political, but you could call me "old school". I believe in parenting...not being their friend. I believe discipline is missing in society and way too much "political correctness". As Dr. Phil says, "How's that working for ya'? LOL When we were kids, we were disciplined and turned out fine. Now that we don't's hurts their self-esteem...yada yada yada...they know no boundaries.
I'm also a Christian and use the Bible as a guide to get through life...though by no means am I perfect. I weep over the tragic loss and the daily pain that our children (and all people) have to endure. However, when I start to question why, I just try to recall a scripture...2 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 John 5:19. I'm not trying to be preachy, but it helps me cope.
I lost two former students who were shot by their very own mother...she also killed her other two children and then shot herself. I met mom. She was a wonderful single mom who worked very hard to keep her children focused on school and out of trouble. She was also going to school to make a better life for them. Her oldest was one of my favorite students ever. But mom was suffering inside...broken.
I don't like guns, but I know enough to know that outlawing them is not going to stop the violence. People who want to do harm, will always find a way. So I agree, it's not guns...but broken people. I appreciate that term, as it sums it up perfectly. Again, thanks for the post and allowing me to share my feelings.