As a parent and community member, this examiner can only hope that something positive will be learned from the horrific events of today. TJ Lane, student accused and in custody after the Chardon High School shootings, had to have a “reason” for what he felt was his only way out. What would possibly make an adolescent think that taking guns into a school and shooting is his best, or only, alternative.
To help bring perspective to this situation, here is a Facebook post from a parent who is also a teacher:
“Well, I’ve been known for speaking my mind, so here it goes! My heart goes out to the families in Chardon. I cannot believe something like this can happen so close to home. That poor child, yes, I said child, who thought the ONLY way to solve his problems was to take matters into his own hands is so sad. As a teacher and parent, I MUST emphasize the importance of parenting AND the relationship bet…when a student and his/her teacher. I believe this could have been prevented. I’ve experienced bullying not only as a teacher, but also as a stay-at-home parent. Administration AND teachers do NOT seem to know how to handle bullying. It’s very simple, teach your kids about bullying, how NOT to do it, and how to defend others who are being targeted by a bully. I keep hearing about the Chardon shooter, TJ, and how no matter how badly he was being bullied, he shouldn’t have taken matters into his own hands……what about the bullies? They have no consequence…..I’ve seen bullies at Renwood & Greenbriar here in Parma and let me be honest, I want to smack both the kid and his parents! MY kid gets suspended for defending a friend who was being bullied….the same consequence as the bully, because he wanted to save his friend from a trip to the emergency room!! This child continues to bully, but ABSOLUTELY NO consequences!! How much longer before he pushes the last button on one of his victims…..will NOT feel sad if he suffers the consequences of being a true bully. I KNOW 2 wrongs do NOT make a right, but why does everything have to escalate so badly, that events like these happen, and we blame the victim, and feel sorry for the bully. It shouldn’t even come to this! I would like to think that when I was a teacher, I helped my students become better people. I KNOW I am raising 3 boys to be better people. Ok, now I feel better.”
Whether or not you agree with this mother’s perspective, one thing is for sure, it will bring awareness to bullying and struggles that our adolescents have today. We may never know what caused TJ Lane to walk into the school cafeteria with a gun, but we must learn to be more open to our children and to all children within our community.
As was stated by this mother, “two wrongs do not make a right” – but in this case, maybe 2 wrongs will open up the eyes to administrators in all school districts. This mother’s children attend Parma Public Schools, as do mine, and I agree, the level of addressing bullying in our school district if FAR BELOW where it should be. And, it probably is in every other school district and we as parents and citizens need to bring it to the forefront!
The Mayor of Parma’s Facebook page has made no mention of today’s events. Although, at 9:58 p.m., his twitter feed commented on the “Daytona 500.” Mayor DeGeeter also posted on this examiners personal Facebook wall that a moment of silence was observed during his State of the City Address this evening. Unfortunately, the 1000’s of Parma City Schools students and their families were not there to lean on him for support. This is a perfect example of how our communities need to step-up and take a stand on awareness of all that is going on around them at the time it is happening – not the next day on the city’s website. Our children deserve this, at the very least!
KUDOS to the Parma City Schools for sending out the automated message today to all the Parma parents/families. Today, someone at the Board of Education made the decision to address the situation and open the airwaves of communication immediately after the tragedy.
Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out for the community of Chardon and the students and their families who have suffered loss. No words of comfort will ever seem to be enough – so in memory of the events of today, our communities should learn how to be more aware of what causes these tragedies and make an effort to stop it. For more information and awareness on bullying, please click here.
Two grieving experts with Cornerstone of Hope talk to Kristi and Wayne on Fox 8 about helping students deal with death.