School, Society, and Safety

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On Tuesday, our school district will welcome 31,000+ students to school.  And though I have vivid memories of my excitement and anticipation when I entered kindergarten, I wonder about some of the older children who will enter our schools.

In the last 24 hours, America has experienced two mass shootings.  Twenty-nine people are dead, 40 or so are injured.  Why? For going to a Texas Walmart or an Ohio restaurant.  People have been mowed down at churches and synagogues, at movies theaters, at malls, at festivals, and yes, unfortunately at schools.  Our children must wonder if any place is safe; they must wonder about hate; they must wonder why.

As you know, I’ve been a school board member for 19 years.  There has not been/nor is one night I go to bed without praying for our children. My focus is no longer on test scores or instructional practices; I’m consumed with worry for their safety.  Further, I realize I’m incapable of guaranteeing child safety, in spite of all of the measures taken since Sandy Hook.  I can not build the walls high enough, nor deep enough to keep evil out.

I’m frustrated by the elephants in my nation, who obviously think AK-47’s should be as readily available to any teenager as hamburgers and French fries.  And, I’m very tired of the rhetoric.  I gag when I read or hear thoughts and prayers. America is awash with aberrant behavior, greedy politicians, and powerful lobbyists.

I find it curious the President Lincoln and his son, Tad, took daily walks on the streets of Washington, DC, while our current President has already spent $110 million playing golf!  Our money for his protection and security.

So, I humbly ask once again–when is enough, enough?  Sadly, I suspect many of our students on Tuesday will ask their teachers the same question. What shall we answer?

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