Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ramblings on school violence

After the occurrence of several school shootings in the past week, I'm finding that I'm bracing myself somewhat when I pull up my internet homepage. I rarely turn on the TV anymore, and have reached a point where 99% of my daily news connection comes through my computer screen. This entire school violence/shooting thing really bothers me...

To state the obvious, I'm sure the fact that I have three children in our local public school system, with one more to be joining them next year, contributes to why this issue literally hits so close to home for me. However, in acknowledging the larger picture, I also feel that we have to recognize that the importance of pursuing an education is so American. The American public school system is something we all tend to take for granted. The fact that our children will have the opportunity to be educated, cared for safely, transported home, etc. while at school is a given. Isn't it?

Violence in our schools MUST be stopped. I appreciate the efforts that our own home district has put in place to provide a more secure environment. Even though I'd enjoy the convenience of taking my pre-schooler in the back door of the school, I understand why it must remain locked and I'm willing to walk a little farther. But what can we do to help our school districts become more secure? We, as parents, need to step up to the plate and make suggestions. I need to acknowledge that, even though I attended the same school as my children a gazillion years ago, I am not exempt from the rules and need to make sure that I ALWAYS sign in as a visitor at the office. (I'm really bad about that one!) We need to help our school staff so that they know, at all times, who they have on school grounds. If we see a stranger in the hallways without a "visitor" badge, maybe we should ask if we can help them find something. If they respond strangely, REPORT them to the office. And don't tell me that we can't make a difference! There is no stronger group than parents and loved ones united for the cause of their children!!! If you don't believe me, face down a mad Mom at the principal's office sometime. :)

I'm going to personally devote myself to helping my school become more secure. Will you join me? And to those who have lost loved ones to school violence in the past days, weeks, months, and years...both the victims and the agressors...my heart goes out to you. May peace be with you.

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