In Florida, a great many are still trapped within the painful and all-consuming grieving process, after a 19 year old boy killed 17 of his former classmates this week.
Around the nation, however, many of us have taken the next. We’ve exited the grieving phase and moved onto stage 2: Learning.
It’s the silver lining, if you will. The blessing in disguise. No matter how painful these moments are today, and will be in the future, these are also teachable moments. Those who have faced this evil head on can now find one another and share coping strategies. Those in charge of keeping our nation’s children safe can now get together and speak on what worked, and what didn’t work, when it came time to put an end to this massacre.
Out of the darkness will come some light, as these Americans began to piece together a better picture of how best to prevent future atrocities such as this.
One woman with a knowledge base worth exploring is Kelly Guthrie Raley, the 2017-2018 Teacher of The Year at Eustis Middle School in Florida. A recent post by Kelly on Facebook is going viral and gaining lots of attention.
“’Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say,’ Kelly Guthrie Raley, who was named Eustis Middle School Teacher of the Year 2017-2018 last month, said in a now-viral Facebook post following the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“’Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it – violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives – as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school,’ the sixth-grade language arts teacher wrote.”
And that’s not even the half of it.
“‘Parents, it’s time to step up!’ Raley urges. ‘Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME.’
“She doubles down that she had guns in her home.
“’But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine…it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.’”
Now, if only we could fill our schools with women like Kelly Guthrie Raley, we might have some hope for the future.