The local news is frightening today. It’s no longer someone else’s city – someone else’s school – someone else’s children. It’s my Town – it’s my school district – kids are being arrested – I’m grateful to the people who saw things and reported them. But I’m so scared now – I’m scared for my son and his classmates. I’m scared for the school my son loves so much.
The news reports I’ve seen of the resulting tragedies from unreported things around the country show that in most cases, the behavior had started small and escalated – and people watched the escalations and did nothing. I know it’s second guessing – however sometimes that can be a good way to brainstorm and prevent problems from occurring again – but early intervention may have been helpful. The first time problematic behavior was exhibited, if other choices had been offered, maybe the behavior could have been changed?
I’m not blaming anyone – that solves nothing. I am saying to open your eyes – be aware – and trust your gut. Deep down inside, we all know right from wrong. “Not my problem” doesn’t work anymore – “Not wanting to cause trouble” causes more trouble. “It’s none of my business” – Yes – it is. Caring for your fellow planet-inhabitants is definitely YOUR business. “There are people more qualified to handle that” – when is doing the right thing something you have to be qualified for?
Enough is enough. The children ARE the future – whether you gave birth to any of them or not – and when my generation is drooling in our oatmeal, they’re the ones gonna be pushing the wheelchairs. It’s our responsibility to take care of them and keep them safe – even from themselves. Start treating them with the respect you believe you deserve – because they didn’t choose anything about the life they’re trying to live – and we’ve put them in a world where they are required to make adult decisions without the resources or knowledge or wisdom.
Maybe I sound a little judgmental – that isn’t my intent – but I’m coming from the perspective of a single parent who raised two successful well-balanced children into adulthood (and I’ve raised my severely autistic 12 year old son completely on my own and will continue doing so until he is an adult) through some traumatic situations that should have broken us all on a poverty-level income- and I couldn’t be more proud of any of them. I only say that to say – if I can do it with nothing by myself – then certainly it is possible. I have no super-powers, trust-funds, or certifications.
This shouldn’t be happening. Not in my town – not in your town – not anywhere. I think it’s a good start that people are pulling there support from organizations that support the tragedies that have happened. Boycotts are a little like “thoughts and prayers” though – and yes I’m going to go there. I realize the intent is to be comforting – but it’s the same thing as tossing a couple bucks in a beggars bucket. It doesn’t really do much to fix anything, but it makes you feel like an okay person. Get involved. Our children deserve safety and security everywhere.
My son is on a basketball team at his school. Last week, his first scrimmage was cancelled because of a snow day. Over the weekend, the two schools in the news were (1) the school my son’s team was meeting at the other (2) school for the game. I can’t keep him from going when they reschedule the game – but I’m scared – very scared. That with the phone call from last week for my son’s school – I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel here. We can no longer excuse bad behavior – for any reason.