In less than an hour I’m going to walk into a school to teach for most of the day. On the day after one individual person walked into a school in Florida and killed 17 people. We’re going to talk about media literacy and protective factors – that is, as long as the children I’m working with are able to concentrate. I can guarantee you that almost all of them will have heard about the shooting. They’ll be afraid or sad or even numb to what happened. This is their reality. In their limited experience on the planet it’s not uncommon for kids to get shot while they’re at school.
All sorts of thoughts have gone through my mind this morning – fear being a steady theme. I experience this reality in a limited capacity. I’m not in schools every single day. I’m not a student who goes to school with the knowledge that one of their classmates might have had thoughts similar to the Florida shooter. I’m not a teacher who has to worry that they might have to use some of their school shooter training to protect their students’ lives. I can only imagine the fear and unease that students and teachers face every day.
We have let this happen. We are responsible for changing the laws around gun access and ownership, and we have failed. We have failed every single student who goes to school literally scared for their life. There have been 18 school shootings in the less than two months of 2018. We have to do better.