School is back in session in my neighborhood this week. This morning the sound of breaks on school bus 12 screeching to a stop at the end of my block conjured ghosts of yesterday.
In past years, that same school bus screech barely preceded bounding feet and a door slam— then the sound of breaks releasing and the exhaust blast that meant the bus was driving on. Those sounds were often accompanied by another door slam, pounding feet, ascending, and stopping at the foot of my bed, (I worked nights), “mom, can you drive me to school,” or ”mom, I’m sick, call me in.”
My children are all out of high school now. I admit to having mixed emotions. I miss lamenting the unappreciated toil of micromanaging their lives. I don’t miss the trouble; I miss complaining about it. But, I feel relief for several reasons.
The marked annual increase in gun violence has changed everything. Last year our high school implemented a new security plan, due to our county’s sick new reality. This is how it worked for me, (everything is about me, it’s my blog).
I needed a form signed by the office and was questioned through slats in bulletproof glass that I had to speak into. The guard kept yelling at me to talk into the slats. (The recent addition of screws in my neck made that a challenge.) He finally sent me away because I wasn’t on the list— “make an appointment.”
I went to my car and called the school office to “make an appointment,” then promptly returned to my new guard friend. He was not happy to see me. He made a couple of phone calls while eyeballing me, took my drivers license, and then his supervisor arrived to escort me to the office. He lectured me along the way about ”how things work,” waited in the hall while I had the form signed, (2 minutes), then he walked me out.
I understand how stressful and scary it must be for those school guards, but I am from the school of treat others as you would like to be treated. Being polite and smiling once upon a time resulted in reciprocal kindness. All I’m saying is, you can get your point across without being a jackass. It was a prison environment, not what I would consider conducive to learning.
Did you buy your child a bulletproof backpack this year?
It’s not only schools. I recently read a story about ”Churches arming and training congregants in response to mass shootings.” The link follows my rant.
A sixth white guy has been arrested since the mass shooting in El Paso, for threatening another massacre. These would-be assassins have threatened to attack: another Walmart, another Synagogue, another LGBTQ Bar, an airplane, another Jewish Community Center, and a random crowd.
Let’s forget about me, (I know I’m selfless, ) and forget about the bitter school guards on power trips, and think about the children. When I was in school, we had fire drills and tornado drills. This generation has ”active shooter drills.”
My son injects humor when telling his story of the school principal getting on the public address system and stuttering ”active shooter; this is not a drill, follow lockdown procedures, this is not a drill.”
My son and his classmates crouched under desks for 30 minutes. He later heard about a freshman classroom where the school’s off-duty policeman burst in and screamed: ”put your hands on your heads and your heads on the desk!” Meanwhile, the school cop pointed a gun at a boys head with shaking hands until backup arrived.
A trained off-duty policeman’s hands were shaking, but gun advocates want teachers to have guns.
The boy who caused the excitement had announced his plan to bring a gun to school. They found a firearm without ammunition in the boy’s locker. He was not allowed to return to school.
My children have not lived through an actual shooting. I can’t imagine how those who have cope with the memories. My son tells this story, imitating quivering voice on the PA, the stereotypical police voices. He makes this a funny story, but it isn’t, and he isn’t immune to the stress of it. My children learned from me to use humor to diffuse unpleasantness, break tension, or distract from negativity in general. Sometimes you have to laugh, or you’ll cry.
I imagine school attendance is down. One of my children dropped out of college because of panic and anxiety due to the fear of shootings. She is working toward her degree with online classes.
The following USA Today article isn’t new, but if you haven’t seen the video, you should take a few minutes to watch.
Our children are suffering from PTSD caused by school drills. There is no innocence left. We are living as if we are at war.
Schools are not the only target, but they are the most nefarious. I wonder if my local Walmart has lost any business as a result of the El Paso mass-shooting. If not for that reason, perhaps because despite the shooting, they will not remove firearms from their shelves, but they did remove violent video games. Walmart’s actions are in line with NRA talking points that blame everything thing except guns for gun violence.
All we have to do is look at statistics. The mass-shooting count is 251 for the year, so far. Shootings have become so commonplace that they often aren’t the top news story.
Updated tally of mass shootings worldwide in 2019 so far:
The US is the only country without real gun restrictions. I think guns are the problem. And the squatter in the White House is fuelling the fire with his hatred. If you don’t think we need gun reform, you value your guns over the welfare of children.
Idiots wearing war weapons are out in droves, and showing them off is causing panic among normal people. You must have seen this photo by now.
One last comment and then I’ll shut up for today. Russia has been laundering money through the NRA for years. The NRA uses that money to bribe the bribable politicians who make and break laws. We will not change a thing until we remove the corrupt politicians. Google your members of Congress to check their NRA rating. If it’s an A, you can guess they vote against gun reform.
I feel for our children. The greed of politicians, who we elected to represent us, has stolen their innocence.