We received a letter from the superintendent of the school today. He discussed all the district is doing to keep the school safe. There is a school liaison officer and Ottawa County Deputies assigned to each building. They have cameras in the hall and by the summer, every school will have a secure entrance. They have social workers, counselors and psychologists to talk to kids. The encouraged us to talk to our kids. To have plan.
We are 7 weeks in to the year and have had 18 school shootings. That is more than one a week. I read the news and pay attention, I can think of maybe 4 school shootings I have heard of this year. They are so common they are not even news worthy anymore!
18 shootings at schools in the US. 7 weeks into this year. As I read the letter from the superintendent (the second one this week because there was also a teacher put on leave for inappropriate sexual behavior with students, another blog for another time) I was initially so thankful for this superintendent who reached out. Who is being proactive to keep our kids safe.
And then, it hit me. Why in the world is it the schools job to worry about people charging into the school with guns, semi-automatic guns, pockets full of guns. People who bypass locked doors. People who can do massive, life taking, action in seconds. And I think about the police having to respond. Police offers, who I know and respect and work with every single day, who are trained to run towards the bullet. Who know that, when that call comes in, they walk into an unknown den of chaos and death.
Why are all of us having to make changes? Why are we sending our officers into danger? Why are we preparing our children to hide and run? Why are we spending money on extra locks and cameras? Because school shootings are a reality. We just know that they can happen and they can happen anywhere.
We are preparing to react. Which is much different that preparing to prevent. Because no matter how much money we can put into school safety, the NRA and other lobbing organizations will spend on making sure guns are accessible. That their right to bear arms is not taken away. So instead, safety of our children and teachers are taken away. Instead, our school are spending time on a preventable disaster the same as they do for a natural disaster. Do you think if we could stop tornados we would? What about tsunamis? hurricanes? earthquakes? We would stop them if we could.
But we will not stop gun violence. We cannot engage in a conversation “gun control”. I have not one tiny shred of hope that this country will make any impactful or effective changes to keep guns out of schools. And not only that, I do not have hope that the government will provide adequate funds for services needed to prevent children from living through the trauma, abuse, neglect, and/or mental illness that starts them down the path of terrorism.
So just like women, who are told not to wear short skirts so they will not be raped, we are asking our schools to implement costly and ineffective policies to protect students from being murdered. It’s backwards. It’s selfish. It’s one sided. It’s something to be ashamed of.