As a parent, we are used to getting alerts from our children’s schools aren’t we?
Weather delays, need more money on the lunch account, progress reports, parent teacher conference sign-ups, upcoming bake sales…you know, the usual.
But now, the alerts are much more doom and gloom. And it’s scaring the crap out of me.
This morning on FB, my friends from all over the country were sharing alerts they received from their school. They all read something like this:
“We received a credible report of a planned shooting at our school. Our campus will remain closed until further notice.”
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING?!?
Our kids biggest worry is no longer the pop-quiz in Science…standardized tests…who they’re going to sit next to at lunch or forgetting their sneakers for gym class.
Our children are going to school worried that they’re going to be gunned down.
Our teachers are worried about how they can protect OUR children.
Schools are planning emergency strategies with apparatuses that block doors…chairs that block bullets…emergency call buttons.
If you’re like me, than you’re a parent who is so sick with fear that our school is next.
THIS IS NOT OK.
I’m not going to get into the gun issue. But I do find it laughable that it is harder in this country to get things like SUDAFED, BIRTH CONTROL AND FIREWORKS than it is to get a gun. But again, I’m not going to get into the gun issue.
I’m not going to get into mental health issue. I won’t even touch the fact that it is ABSURD that funding for mental health continues to get CUT DRASTICALLY.
Those two major issues aside, there is another GLARING issue that nobody is talking about: why are these kids lashing out? Why are there kids who have an arsenal building in their bedrooms and a plan laid out that assassinates their peers and teachers?
What are these kids so angry about? Is it because someone broke up with them? Is it because they sit alone at lunch? Is it because their parents have their heads buried in their phones at dinnertime?
It’s time we LISTEN TO OUR YOUTH. LISTEN TO THEM.
They’re hurting. They’re in pain.
Stop settling for an answer of “fine” when you ask them how their day was.
Their world is completely different that ours was when we were growing up.
Riding bikes until the street lights come on…hanging out with friends at the mall…talking to our parents at the dinner table has all been replaced.
Heads are buried in phones…face-to-face interaction has been replaced with social media accounts that are littered with staged poses and heavy filters.
Nothing is REAL anymore.
Something needs done ASAP.
No more just thoughts and prayers.
But before we start pointing fingers and passing the blame…it’s time we start with our own families.
It’s time we take back our homes.
Invest TIME in your children.
Invest TIME in your neighbor’s children.
They need us.