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 repost.................................................so, 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.