Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

February 28, 2012

Thinking of Those at Chardon High School, and Victims Everywhere

Filed under: Tools for Life Posts — by Life's Toolbox @ 12:22 am
Tags: , , , , ,

1 dead, 4 injured in Ohio school shooting    Once again we are mourning.  Together with parents of students at Chardon High school, those lucky enough to have their children home with them, those sitting by their teen’s hospital bedsides, deep in prayer and hoping, and the Parmertor family, whose loss of Daniel is beyond what any parent should have to endure, we are mourning.

The words of students in the school are haunting – “You see glances of your friends laying all over the place.”  “I didn’t look at his face, I only looked at the gun”.  These are not sentences we want to hear from high school students.  No doubt we will hear lots more sentences.  News analysts, mental health professionals  and educators, talking about the perpetrator’s background, about the need for school safety, about bully prevention as a priority for our schools.

In these days of mourning, I hope we will talk a bit less and think a lot more.  In consulting with schools about bullying over the past dozen years, I have been fortunate to never confront a school shooting.  Yet I have seen the immense pain bullying causes, and the much more common suicide attempts and other signs of victims’ desperation.

Knee jerk responses are common at times like this.  Columbine resulted in metal detectors and security guards.  Recent bully related suicides prompted powerful state mandates that schools address bullying – though guidelines and funding are not yet available.  These approaches alone will not make schools safe.  Creating environments where students, and adults are empowered to help everyone feel valued sounds so la-de-da, but it is what research suggests makes the difference.

A 9th grader at Chardon said “I still can’t think about it all cause it’s just so scary.”  I know just how he feels.  But being a grown-up, while I mourn with those in Ohio, and all the other places children have been hurt, I will think about it, a lot.  I will keep thinking about it, until we have the tools to make our schools not so scary.


1 Comment »

  1. So glad that you have done, and are doing, your part in this awful area of “bullying!” Glad, too, that there are many efforts afoot….. alas, never enough! In all of my teaching experiences, I never allowed that it was a “silly” problem, or, a situation to be “outgrown”. (Too often those were the “words” heard from parents at conference appointments) When will parents realize that family values of positive behaviors must trump the evils of peer pressure!!?? That student, who ever implores, “Leave him/her alone”, is modeling that behavior as
    observed in the family unit, I’m sure!!! To bully is a serious “crime”; it is not a “rite of passage”!!

    Comment by E and S Milch — February 28, 2012 @ 10:43 pm |Reply

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