Enough is enough!
Across the country, students are rattled and perturbed yet again by the recent travesty in Parkland, Florida. Thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, educators, and all others who are affected by the lives lost to yet another shooting. It is hard to comprehend that since 2018, a total of 18 school shootings have occurred within the United States. This in no way should be accepted or tolerated as the new deranged normalcy of our time and neither must we give into fear.
There are enough pressures for students to deal with. The leaders, educators, and parents of this nation must make it a priority to research and put policies and methods that would prevent future shootings into effect. Although significant, perhaps this complex nightmare is not just about gun control and about violent video games. In an effort to gain more understanding and prevent further school shootings, the National Institute of Justice, the U.S. Secret Service, and the U.S Department of Education all worked closely to aid the Secret Service in a study. The outcome was The Safe School Initiative of the Secret Service in 2002 which emphasize the importance for everyone to start paying more attention and listening to America’s youth. This study concluded that together students, educators, administrators, advisors, politicians, and law enforcement can play a key role in the prevention of violence in schools.
The study confirmed that school shooters are often young people who do not keep their need for help a secret prior to their attack. Just like the Parkland shooter, many of these individuals often display warning signs or attempt to voice their internal turmoil through methods such as complaining of being bullied, suffering from a loss, showing signs of aggression and isolation, being depressed, or even talking about violence. This study also concluded that these afflicted attackers not only plan their attacks ahead of time but voice their plans and may even give out details as they try and gain access to a weapon. Prevention efforts made based off of this study need to be multifactorial and not just about gun control.
Maybe we the student body can make a difference by being a little less self-centered, start listening to each other more and get our heads out of our gadgets and gizmos. Maybe parents, educators, and policymakers need to create an environment with avenues that would decrease competition among students and increase connectedness by creating more opportunities to converse with each other, with mentors, and with other compassionate adults. Untreated increasing mental illness among students can no longer be ignored and or dismissed. Maybe there should be more educational programs on symptoms of depression and other common mental illnesses as well as resources so that students can recognize them and have access to those resources. Maybe it’s not all about division one sports, popularity contests, research competitions, and AP classes. Maybe author Robert Fulghum’s writing is truly a pearl of wisdom.
All I Really Need To Know
I Learned In Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum
– an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten
All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK.