I hate to admit it, but everyday for the last year that I worked I would pray not to be involved in a shooting. I did not want anyone to get shot (including me) or anyone to be a shooter. Just by the grace of God, I managed to retire before I ever had that situation in a school that I was responsible for. We practiced monthly for just such emergencies, but even so those procedures would not have saved everyone if a gunman was determined.
The sad part of the story is that any teacher, student, or administrator could point to the kids in their schools that are on the edge, but THEY give us nothing to do about it. It’s not because THEY want bad things to happen; it is because THEY don’t know how to prevent it. THEY don’t know what to do with those students. Oh wait, THEY is WE isn’t it.
I will admit, I have no clue what to do about the students that are so broken, but I could point them out and given you their names at a very early age. There are some things I always tried to do, but I have no clue if it made a difference. I always made a point to speak and show an interest in the broken students. Sometimes they were hard to get to know and often they were the very kids that by their behavior drove people away from them. They could be very hard to like. Other students that we keep asking to “befriend” those broken souls get tired of dealing with them and are too young to really know how. Anyway, why should they spend their young lives being a social worker for others? Is that their role in society? I don’t know. Some students have the ability and the desire to help others, but often they don’t. Kids are just selfish by nature for a time while they are growing up. They don’t want to spend time with depressing situations, and do we want them to?? So, what to do with our broken students (and there are many, many more than there used to be) when we know they need something?
In my own humble opinion, they should be isolated from the normal schools and routines. They are not comfortable within that situation anyway. It is just exacerbating the situation to force them into the very social situation that they are not comfortable with.
In their own setting, there must be serious, excessive attention to detail. Give them the attention they need by people who know it takes time and energy to break through the exterior that has been years developing. We must get all the way back to their infant minds and work all the way back through each developmental stage in the right way. It is costly, time-consuming, intense work, but look at the alternative.
Only parents have the pull to get t his done. If parents would call each school board member to ask for procedures to help these broken kids. Where will they be housed? Who will work with them? Can they live there if necessary? Lots of questions and lots of money to make it happen, but I have learned that the people who work in the trenches cannot get it done. It takes persistent parents. Top level administration does not like for parents to disrupt their school board members, and once won’t work. It takes everyday and everyone to stay after it until they weaken. It would be just as easy to allocate funding for a facility like this as it would for the new football stadium. How many kids could we have saved with the millions spent on athletics, and I love athletics. It does not, however, need million dollar stadiums, dressing rooms, weight rooms, and media rooms for high school students. How many kids could we have saved without the millions spent on state mandated testing. We need some, but not as much.
We just don’t have our priority list in the right order.