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In the Santa Fe school shooting, what do you think the first line of defense should have been?

“I was thinking it was going to happen eventually, it’s been happening everywhere,” Paige Curry, a Santa Fe High School student told a local Houston station. “I was ready to run out, but my teacher told me to hide instead, so that’s what I did.”

We’ve all seen her on the news. We’ve heard, and read her quote multiple times.  We’ve weeped.  We’ve prayed.  We’ve discussed it with our friends, our lovers, and if you are a believer, God.

But all the discussion won’t bring the kids and the two teachers back.

All our contemplating; “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN AGAIN” will not ease the suffering of the parents who have lost their children.  Nor will it bring any comfort to the parents of Shana Fisher who taught her that it’s okay to say NO.  That teaching your daughter that she doesn’t have to date a boy she doesn’t want to is her right, and prerogative.  Never in all the years of my raising my little girls into young women did I ever think while telling them that they could, and must say NO, when something doesn’t feel right could result in death.  Not for one hot second while I was teaching them about how to own their power, that possibly one day that ownership, of saying NO to a boy, the WRONG boy, which is a complete answer, by the way, might lead to their death.

I simply taught them that it was their right to say no.  With no fear for their safety.

But now here we all sit, once again wondering how a boy who had threatened to kill a girl not only made good on his threat, but wasn’t stopped before it happened?  How is it authorities didn’t take the threat seriously?  And when will they begin to understand that in this new world of ours, sadly, all threats like this must be taken seriously.

Perhaps if we had something in place to protect the lives of people who are being harassed and threatened  PRIOR to their murders we might be burying less of our children?  Like I can’t help but wonder did Shana’s mother contact the boys parents?  The school authorities?  Anybody?  Or was it just a conversation between a mother and a daughter that didn’t go any further, and now this is the outcome?  Would his parents knowing that he had threatened to take her life have changed the outcome?  Would they have been able to parent him out of it??

I have too many questions, as a parent, and as a concerned global citizen; and I can’t help but wonder what’s it going to take to bring about the change America so desperately needs.  And I’m still holding onto the notion that maybe if we started to hold parents accountable when their children commit heinous crimes such as these, we may begin to witness more proactive parenting happening with mentally unsound kids???

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm…

Until then we’re relegated to praying, that is until the polls open.

6 Comments

  1. The first line of defense is to raise our children to understand that the word “no” is an absolute answer, but it doesn’t have to crush your soul. Giving our kids a healthy sense of self is crucial.

    But that’s in ideal conditions. Too many parents are themselves in lousy situations that don’t allow them the time to actually talk with their kids or connect on a deeper level. Trying to keep a roof over their family’s heads, food on the table, and/or trying to dodge fists or bullets themselves is a very true reality for a fair number of people in this world.

    There’s no simple answer beyond enacting stricter, sensible gun laws and open dialogue with our kids (to the best of our individual abilities).

    I hope we get there quickly because our kids just waiting for the inevitable shooting at their school is unacceptable.

  2. Let me help you see it from the inside out. My husband is a custodian for our local public school system. He works from 2:30 in the afternoon until 11:00 at night. He has a good salary and benefits. But the stories he brings home about the behavior of the students…and some teachers…are enough to make your hair stand on end. The school where he works is a junior high, and the students come from all over the city. There is one other junior high in town, as well as one outside the district, and a private one. Hubby arrives before the students leave for the day, but when they do, it’s best to hide because otherwise you will be trampled. And once they are gone, the damage and debris that is left behind is unbelievable. Ink all over the floors in the locker rooms, personal clothing strewn all over, I-phones found in the oddest places, jewelry tossed away, food everywhere, garbage on the walls, poop on the floors of the showers in the locker room, urine in the carpet, notebooks in the toilets. And this is on a regular day. He has heard of one teacher who had her head slammed into a wall by a student, but the district told her she could not take legal action, even though she was injured. Now, you tell me how our children are learning anything in this environment. And we live in a town of 60,000+ in Iowa. So, what do you think it’s like in bigger towns and cities? Yes, what about that young woman who simply exercised her right of refusal to someone she did not like? Where on earth could she have found any protection in a jungle such as I have described? We, as a society, are so damned busy looking at our phones, computers, whatever, that we have become disconnected from reality and humanity. Disconnected from discipline, and communication. Unlike our Orange Mango Man of a leader, I do not want to go back in time. But I do think we need to resurrect some of the old ways of doing things including becoming more involved in the lives of our children, giving back to the educators a modicum of authority which would allow them to discipline — within reasonable boundaries — children who are totally out of line. I don’t think a person can take the incident and set it outside the walls of the school as if it is a puzzle piece that’s out of place. Consider the environment we have created, consider taking a fair share of responsibility if you are part of that environment, and fix it. It’s obviously broken. Fix it.

  3. I keep thinking this has to be the last time and then Another, and Another. It is heartbreaking and makes me so angry, and agree wholeheartedly in making the parents accountable Yes it is their right to have guns in their home, but if they choose to do that, they have the responsibility to keep them secured. This father said he ‘didn’t know how his son got his guns” You better know every minute where those weapons are and Know that there is NO access to them by your children. I am sure kids can be secretive but this killer posted on social media that he was Born to Kill and would do it. Privacy is one thing but good parenting should include knowing these things.
    The laws need to start prosecuting parents as Accessories in these shootings where their weapons were an easy access for their children. To me it is the right thing to do and Maybe, just Maybe, that could prompt other gun owning parents to be more responsible,
    And we have to use our power of the vote to get better people in power to make a difference.

  4. The only line of defense against nuts with guns is to take guns away. Oliver North infuriated me by blaming gun violence on everything but guns, including abortion, which infuriates me to a degree I had it thought possible. So, is life sacred or not? A woman can’t have reproductive rights because abortion is murder, but then her child can be slaughtered in school because we must have our guns? Which is it? This self serving illogic is criminal. I’d like to put guns advocates in a circular firing squad and give the command. Actually let’s put NRA officials in the center and call them collateral damage.

  5. I’m so disgusted! My heart can’t handle anymore of this shit!!! What the F#$% is happening to our children, to our world??! WTF?? A colleague and I talked about this today. WHY? What is the real reason this keeps happening? How can we get to the bottom of this? What is the driving force behind this violence? Bullying? Mental Illness yet discovered? Gun violence? VIDEO GAMES?? Games that render the players immune to the actual outcome of blowing their opponent away on screen? WHAT??
    For the love of God, please, someone has to figure this the F#*& out! I don’t think there is an open and shut answer! There isn’t! But there are answers out there! What are they? I’m so disgusted! I”m so sad at the state of the world and this F&*%$ing jackass that spouts hatred from the highest point of my government! He is responsible, somehow, someway! Part of it anyway! WTF, Shantelle? WTF???

  6. Agree. Even with threats to kill – often in cases of domestic situations all the woman is told is to move away from the spouse, or move into hiding somewhere and also take out a restraining order. There usually is no arrest or criminal charge; almost as if it’s a price a woman pays to picking the wrong man. With young single women or young female teens, the complaint about a threat to kill them by a boy friend or a male pursuing them is even less taken seriously and often even a restraining order is not even suggested. More like, “Well, don’t associate with him or his friends or maybe you could change schools.” Both making an already frightened teen being victimized even more of a victim as if it’s the teens or young woman’s fault. There need to be laws changed to be much more pro-active for the victims. Why does a woman need to almost wait for the inevitable – an assault, a sexual assault with or without rape or death as in the case of this teen in Santa Fe. The world still is not ‘getting it.’ Females do not get the validity necessary to protect them and this definitely needs to change. So many women die annually because these laws are not in place in the courts.

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