Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Time To Get Clued In

Another school shooting on a growing list of school shootings, and as I’ve said before (and I’ll say again): I believe the fault lies with everyone, and the key to stopping it is everyone.

Now hear me out.

We are a self-centered, don’t-want-to-get-involved, “me” society, where we see things going on around us—everything from the huge and obvious to the “just a little off”—and let it go. Because we let it go, we are enablers (and accomplices, I might add) by not getting involved. Because we don’t get involved, the fault lies with us. We. We’ve dropped the ball, people. The old and true saying “It takes a community to raise a child” isn’t happening in this society, and that’s a damn shame.

Off the top of my head. This sort of thing can be (most times) be prevented. With that in mind, I have to ask: Where were the parents in all of this? Where were the kid’s friends? The teachers? Even the casual observer who lives down the hall and has a gut feeling that the guy is “weird” and/or may be going off his nut? They (we, in fact) are busy being enablers (and accomplices—I can’t stress that word enough), that’s where. People say afterward (why is it always afterward?) things like, “He stopped his meds and was getting more and more erratic” or “He was bullied,” etc., etc. So why didn’t anyone speak up before? Were they afraid? And if so, of what? If they’re wrong, great! If they’re right, it might save lives.

As for the bullies. Why weren’t they put to the mat when they first started bullying? Our school board here has adopted a Zero Tolerance policy on bullying, whereby, if warranted, the offender will do their schooling off grounds via the Outreach Program, where they can’t hurt anyone. It’s not the end-all / be-all answer, but it helps. Of course, if the offender decides to retaliate off school grounds, the retaliatee’s parents can always make use of the legal system (assault, uttering threats, etc., etc.).

And speaking of parents. If you’d stop touting your kid’s right to privacy and start getting your butt into their bedroom, you might be able to prevent some of these terrible things from happening and save your own kid in the process. Ah, I know what you’re thinking: I’ll break the trust. Well here's a reality check for you: It could cost them their lives if you don't. But just to make you feel better, let's try looking at this another way. If you thought for one second there was something in that room which could cost your kid their life, wouldn't you be in there in a heartbeat? Sure you would; I guarantee you would. I can also guarantee that no where on your apartment lease or deed of your house will you find is your kid’s name. That makes it your house, not your kid’s. It's time to get clued in.

In all honesty, the “it’s none of my business” mentality has got to go. Instead, what we need to do is to get involved because only through it will we have a hope in hell of stopping this.
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