In the meantime, I want to take a moment to think about the latest school shooting in Nevada. A 12 year old boy walks into his school, and guns down a courageous teacher, wounds two others, and turns the gun on himself.
12 years old. Seriously? What next? 10 years old? 8 years old?
What is it that is causing our children such pain that their only solution is a lethal weapon? What are we to do to pinpoint the cause, and turn this around? Do you realize that this is such a common occurrence that we seldom give it more than a passing thought after hearing about yet another school shooting?
As of December 2012 there had been 31 school shootings in America since the Columbine shootings in 1999, that does not include the multiple incidents in 2013. Contrast that with only 14 in all the rest of the countries combined, and we have something akin to an epidemic of violence almost unheard of in any other part of the world.
What are we doing wrong? What is culturally out of whack that causes this to keep happening? What is it about our school environment that creates an atmosphere filled with such heaviness and frustration that a young person resigns themselves to almost certain death, and wishes to reign terror upon their classmates?
We must find answers. We can not fully blame teachers, principles, etc., and sure it could be that the idea has been planted, so history will continue to repeat itself. But is there something inherently wrong with our system, that these actions continue to find their way to our evening news shows?
Most of us do not homeschool our children because the slim possibility of such violence exists, but every parent in America hugs their child a little closer on a night such as this, and we recognize that we have at least one thing less to worry about come morning. But what about everyone else's child?
One thing our blog will not participate in is school bashing. We all benefit from a strong, free public education system, and we all also benefit from educational choice, which allows us to meet the needs of all our nation's children, those who "fit" and those who don't, those who benefit from brick and mortar schools, and those who take a different route. We all need to find ways to keep our children safe...not just the ones that reside with us and attend school at the relatively safe kitchen table each morning, but the children of our friends and neighbors who walk 5 blocks to attend the local neighborhood school, where there is increasing risk. How can we keep all our children safe?
It is a question that has been asked over and over again, and the answer appears to be elusive. For all our sake's, we had better never give up asking that question until we have a resolution.