There was quite alot going on in Geauga County yesterday. Much to our dismay, there was a shooting that took place in Chardon High School, which is about 10 miles from my own town, heading south on Rt. 44. People all around the country now know the name of this small, quiet town, on a hill - loved by so many...and that of the young man having done the shooting, T.J. Lane. Being my one day off in the week, I listened to the story on t.v., all day, as it was unfolding. It was mentioned at least once, that bullying may have played a part in the poor decision made by this young man. I hope that they are wrong, but more and more, this seems to be the catalyst for bullied victims to either escape from the severe rejection it causes, by taking their own lives, or finding - both revenge and a way to let the world know what they were enduring by shooting the perpetrators. Many times they will kill themselves, also. If this were the situation with T.J. - he did not choose to do this, but quietly turned himself in. One policeman was all that it took to handcuff him and lead him to the patrol car. It really makes you wonder...I'm jussayin' he went from being a madman with a gun, to someone calm and controlled enough to 'go quietly' without incident. Soon we will know what was going on in his mind, we will know the intricacies of this tragic incident, but until then - it does bring up this topic once more.
Far too many schools do not have a bullying plan in place. I don't know if Chardon High School did or not. It's obvious that they had practiced how to handle such a situation, such as the one that happened. They did quite an exemplary job, all agree...and even have their own heroes - two teachers who ran T.J. out of the school, dodging bullets as they did. A high five to them, for sure, thank you, thank you, thank you! However, I'm jussayin' if this town thought that the chances of this happening were high enough to practice what to do if it had - you would think that they would also be using metal detectors to keep anyone from bringing a gun into school...so that the 'possible shooting' that they were practicing for - would never have been able to take place!
Too many times, bullying incidents, even when reported, leave those in charge dealing with the confusing 'he said, she said' issues that come up. Unfortunately, many times those being bullied eventually lose their tempers and start throwing verbal arrows back (or worse) at the perpetrators making it harder for the authority person to discern which came first, the chicken or the egg! It gives the perpetrator of the bullying the ability to announce that they had been 'cussed out' (by the very one they had been bullying)...act all innocent, and successfully deflect any focus from themselves. Mentor High School, right here in Lake County, has also had to finally deal with the very saddening, and uncomfortable outcomes of bullying, that were not stopped in time. Numerous suicides were the sickening outcome of it all, leaving families and hearts broken forever. I was very impressed to hear that LaMuth Middle School has the kids come together often, (if I've got it right,) and discuss bullying, communication, civility, and more. Kudos to them and to Mentor High, if they are.
I would like to challenge those who haven't watched the kids shows, these day...Disney and all the rest. It's truly amazing just how much bullying and incivility goes on in the story lines. I won't allow my granddaughter to watch most of them, when she visits. We watch shows like, The Little People, a Cake Baking show, Funniest Home Videos, Nature shows...Say Yes to the Dress. I'm Jussayin' - I just can't tolerate shows with teenagers - where you're nobody unless you can sing, dance or are in a band! They all have kids in cliques, and 'nerdy' kids who aren't...and everyone talks as sarcastically to one another as they can - continuously. I remind my granddaughter that in real life - there's NO laugh track behind you when you talk to one another that way! It's wrong - and that's that. I always remind her of that radical idea introduced by Jesus, himself: "Do to others, the same way that you would want them to do to you"...not before they do it unto you. Imagine if all lived according to this principle...no wonder it is called: The Golden Rule.
My own granddaughter has experienced ongoing bullying at two schools that she has attended. Both have NO no-bullying policies in place. Parents bring it up, with very little help found. There is rampant sexual, verbal abuse that the young girls have to put up with - that should never be tolerated. Not only that, but inappropriate 'touching' that has actually been planned by the boys, on certain days of the week! I for one think that sending our girls to all girls schools sound like a wonderful idea! The only problem with that is - with all of the sexual abuse that has gone on in the Catholic Church, Boys Clubs, and many other places we once considered safe - you just can't help wondering if you would be sending your little girl into some ridiculous situation where some person in authority may have chosen that setting specifically to be around a lot of little girls - for their own perverted reasons. I'm Jussayin'...what a crazy world we are living in today! What's a caring parent, grandparent, or caregiver to do? Everything these days keeps bringing us back to prayer. When things are just out of your control - you have to personally leave those you love, in His care, everyday and every night. It's the only way to get any sleep! Somehow I think you know what I mean! We are, after all, in this together. You and yours be safe - hear me?