These are my girls at school! Happy-go-lucky and free to be a teen and pre-teen! They are students, learning, growing, making friends and having fun!
To my friends, colleagues, and followers: have school shootings in America become the new normal, commonplace? There have been 288 school shootings in America since 2009. There have been 433 shooting incidents in America since the Santa Fe, TX shooting on Friday – that just three days ago. In 2018, there have been 22,190 total shooting incidents in America and 16 school shootings in American in 2018. Why?
Twenty-three (23) families have changed: 8 students and 2 teachers are dead; 13 others were injured. One student who was a Pakistani exchange student who came here to study with American students and interact with American families. Her family will never see her again. Why is this the “new norm”?
As I sent my daughters to school today, it was like nothing happened on Friday. It happened and life has gone on. The same students that I see every school day were at the bus stop. The country is not having a moment of silence; it is contained to the state of Texas. If the reports are correct, more students have died in school shootings this year than soldiers in the two (2) wars that America is currently engaged. So I wondered, is this the norm in other countries.
Based on what I learned, it is NOT! Again, since 2009, here are the number of school shootings for other countries. Mexico – 8; South Africa – 6, India – 5, Canada and France – 2, China, Germany, Greece and Russia – 1, all other countries listed including the UK are zero (0). Let me put it another way, America is 36 times more likely to have a school shooting than any other country in the world! So this is just the norm in America!
I agree with Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education 2008-2015, that it is our responsibility as parents to ensure our children’s safety. The question becomes, how do we do that? Is it something that we need to do collectively? Is it even a problem for my community? We need to have the conversation. We need to talk about if and how gun violence affects our children, our families, our communities. We need to discuss options to make a difference, to make our children, our students, our teachers, our communities, our seniors, our colleagues – Americans safe!
Are you willing to have the discussion with me? Or, are we going to continue to live our lives as if this only happens to other people, until it happens to us? What are the steps that we can take as parents? Should we work individually or collectively or both? What role do the politicans that we elect play? What is the political responsibility to affect change in this area? Is there one? Are the parents of the student who committed this heinous act responsible for providing access to these guns and other weapons of mass destruction? Let’s discuss, and then take action.