I hate to be political, especially on my blog, but we all Love a Good Story, and a Good Story is in the making. Our teens are making history. But they are doing what we should have done for them. They are tired and fed up and I don’t blame them. Our young people should not have to go through the loss of their friends, and they should not be put in a position where they have to take up a fight that we, the adults and parents, should have done for them. We, parents, adults and teachers, must begin to give our teens the care they deserve. Some people say, “Kids bounce back.” What does this mean, anyway? Our children and teens are not basketballs or volleyballs bouncing around. People don’t bounce back. Look at yourselves, look at the people around you who are still hurting from some past tragedy. Trauma is difficult for us all, and harder for others who have experienced other traumas as well. There is no such thing as “bouncing back.” Our children and teens are emotionally harmed by these incidents just like anyone else. We all take these experiences with us as we grow and these recent experiences will shape and form them, just as they have shaped and formed us. Again, look at yourselves and the people around you who don’t get along with others, those who always have negative thoughts and ideas, those who are paranoid and think that people are actually trying to bring harm to them specifically. Parents, we have to face this. We have already turned a blind eye to violence in schools; we can’t ignore the effect these school shootings have on our children and teens.
Parents, I ask you to think back about the time when you were in high school. The school was a place of safety for you, the way it should be for our children today. You were protected in that environment, cradled and cuddled by your teachers, principles, and friends. Nothing could bother you at your school. You found out that you weren’t always loved by some friends, but you found other friends who valued you. Your friends became your family. Your friends and you were going through similar “high school problems,” and you worried about them as you worried about yourself. So, it would have been very difficult to see one of them shot and die in front of you.
We must support these brave soldiers who find it in their loving hearts to want to stop this madness and do something about the mass shootings in their school and those schools across the nation. Our young people are fed up and tired of this kind of violence, and rightly so. I would like to see these amazing people be teens again. They should be crying because someone said something about them; upset because they weren’t invited to a particular party; upset because they like a boy or girl, but found out that the boy or girl likes someone else; upset about the fact that they earned a “B” on a test and you, parents, will be mad with them; and going crazy because they waited until the very last-minute to complete an important assignment. High school is the time that students practice those values, manners, and make choices based on what you’ve taught them. They should be upset over bad choices that they’ve made and afraid to tell you. These “high school problems” are what they should be going through. No teen should have to march for gun control in schools.
I am horrified at the reception that these brave souls have received. It is difficult to believe and accept that after these young people poured out their hearts to us, asked for help they need — gun control — that they would have the door slammed in their faces. What kind of people would do such a thing? But our young people must persevere. I would strongly suggest that they not give up. I know from the people around me that they have much more support than they think. Not all of us who support these teens marched. But, we need, not just gun control laws, we need other things as well. We need the schools to hire more therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists. Teachers know when something is not right with a student. They know when students are having trouble. Students sometimes act out. The acting out is a way of getting someone’s attention. Teachers must begin to report those students who begin to behave differently from their usual behavior. They usually perseverate on an unfortunate incident and can’t seem to talk about anything else. They write about it in their assignments and papers. They may seem anxious, frustrated and angry. These students should be reported to a therapist or “counselor” who is a therapist with background in psychology and/or psychiatry. Students need ongoing Group Therapy. Presently, if it’s in schools, it’s only for a day or two after the shootings. Does this make sense to you? Again, think about yourself. Remember, there is no such thing as “bouncing back. ” It takes many sessions before anyone can put trauma behind them or learn how to use it to improve their life or the lives of others. An hour or two does nothing to help. Parents you must push for more therapists/pshcyologists/psychiatrists in your schools.
Parents of teens should not have an arsenal of guns, or other weapons in their homes, even if it is under lock and key. We’ve already experienced from Sandy Hook how that doesn’t work. We need a law that says, “If you are a parent of a teenager and the teenager has access to or living in your home, you should not have guns and weapons anywhere in your home.” It is common sense , but since many of our parents seem to lack that ability, we must have a law. So far, we have allowed the parents to go free. Is this right? Parents are responsible for their children. Parents need jail time. They provided a weapon for an unstable individual who went off and killed people. If we hold the bartenders responsible for giving someone already intoxicated more alcohol, then we should also hold parents responsible for giving their disturbed son a gun. Our children and teens rely on us to keep them safe, to tell them right from wrong, to guide them and support them as they complete their assignments, play an instrument in the band, sing in the choir, take part on the debate team, make the honor society and, participate in the drama club. These are the things that help mold and shape our teens into good, hardworking, kind, thoughtful people who want to make their way in society and prepare themselves for a profession. Can we get back to this? Can we make this the story we love?