… ’round and ’round we go…
Change the name of the town, the name of the school campus and insert a slightly unstable individual(s) with a streak of volatility and access to a gun. The results are always comparable.
In Chadron, OH, a Cleveland area city, a student opened fire in a cafeteria, killing one of his schoolmates and wounding four others. He then fled the scene, was pursued and eventually gave himself up to authorities.
According to students at the high school, the shooter was widely considered an “outcast,” and was often subjected to being bullied. As is no surprise, he made a few choice remarks on Twitter and Facebook, which could have been considered quite disturbing…or perhaps prophetic and predictive.
We initially think back to Columbine in 1999, as the first in a negative paradigm, yet, it was in 1998 that a 13 year old and an 11 year old were savvy enough to pull a fire alarm, and shoot students as they exited a Jr. High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 13 and 11. There is something inherently wrong with all of these pictures.
For parents reading this, I empathize with your fears. If for no other reason than instructing your child toward self-preservation, it is a good life lesson to suggest that mistreating anyone may have far reaching effects that are quite unimaginable. And picking on anyone who runs as “the loner” is certainly not the wisest choice of social characteristics.
We’ve all seen it. Some of us have played a role on one side of the virtual spectrum. It seems a cycle that is destined to continue, regardless of upbringing or social standing. It’s a play for power within the oddity that is adolescence. Choosing the beginnings of wisdom over instinct. Good vs. Evil. Discount it for sake of being politically correct, and we’ll allow it to continue.
Something can be done. Something should be done. It has to start early, and needs to be offered repetitiously throughout. And for the love it…when red flags are waving, it’s time to stand boldly, offer compassion, instruction and direction. It certainly seems that we have become a culture that is steeped in fear–including the fear of potentially offending others, which has laid common sense to rest in far too many of life’s applications.