Just seven weeks into 2018, there have been eight shootings at US schools that have resulted in injury or death. The latest situation in Parkland, Florida has the nation grieving once again. It is truly tragic and even days after it has happened, I still cannot wrap my head around it.
Around WNY and the nation, schools are all updating and reviewing their safety protocol. Families are sitting down and discussing the “what to do” if anything like this would happen to them. My wife and I sat down with Alex last night and went over what to do if anything would happen in his school. Alex is old enough now to stop with the “nothing is going to happen in your school” talk. I can’t lie to him and tell him that he’ll be safe and everything will be ok. The scary thing is, no one knows anymore.
It’s obvious to me that the shooters in these school shootings (or any shootings) do not value any life, including their own. It’s incredibly sad, terrifying and mind blowing all wrapped together. I’ll never know what pushes someone to that point. I’ll never understand it, ever! As someone who is in or deal with schools every day, I can tell you firsthand that almost every school has only 1 social worker. Sometimes the number of students is 1000-1200, all with the same one person to talk with. When school budgets are brought up for the year, they always seem to pass with the latest iPads, sport fields and other academic tools. Maybe we should look into bringing more mental health experts into our school systems. Our state spends so much money on ELA and Math assessment. Maybe we should assess our students well being and mental health. Maybe we should monitor and be more aggressive on student’s social media posts. Social media is not going away. While it’s impossible to monitor everything, we should be able to depend on each other to watch for red flags. I don’t know what else. I don’t have the answers. I wish I did.
Police have confirmed that the weapon used was a AR-15 assault rifle. It’s a semi-automatic military weapon used for killing, not hunting, It should not be available to the public.
Do not respond to this blog looking for a political discussion or debate. I won’t have it.
Congress has refused to tighten restrictions on gun ownership. The experts say youngsters are much more likely to be shot in their own home or neighborhood that at school. I’d really like to see them try to explain that to the 17 families that lost someone this week.
We need to do more! Our schools should be a safe place for everyone. Our children deserve better,