When I was a little girl, my mother used to sit in her car directly across from where I waited for the bus to go to our town's public school. I was embarrassed and wanted her to leave. The kids made fun of me. The bus stop was around the corner from our house, why was my mother so over protective? What was she worried about? What was she afraid of?
As a mother now, I know what my mother was afraid of. She was afraid of someone hurting her children, or losing her children. It used to be the "Chester the Molester" guy in a blue van, whether urban legend or true; now it's the other kids on that bus, in that classroom, or as we have seen from so many school shootings, in the cafeteria.
The town of Chardon, Ohio will bury three of its children. And parents of two others watch as they slowly heal from their wounds; at least the physical wounds. The emotional wounds, the nightmares yet to come, may never fully leave the minds of these children or their parents.
The district attorney has decided to try T.J. Lane as an adult. The 17-year-old allegedly walked into the cafeteria and randomly shot his victims; he has reportedly admitted to not knowing who they were.
As a talk show host, it is rare when I am at a loss for words, but I am. But I do have a lot of questions.
- How are our children getting guns into their hands so easily?
- How are our children getting guns into our schools?
- What will it take for us to stop the bullying? How many children must die before we truly address this problem as a nation?
- Why aren't we noticing the warning signs when a child is withdrawn and holds his or her anger deep, deep inside?
In other words, have we, the village failed this child, the victims, and our society?
T.J.'s friend posted on Facebook, "I could see in your eyes you didn't care anymore..."
If a child could see that, why couldn't T.J.'s family or teachers? And why didn't anyone do something about it?
I remember a quote from a psych class years back when I was in high school: "Please hear what I am not saying."
We need to pay attention to our children. We need to watch for the warning signs. We need to put a stop to bullying. We need to prevent guns from getting into our children's hands, and we certainly need to protect our kids when they get on that bus to go to school. It does take a village. And I believe, as a village, we have failed the children of Chardon and failed the children of America.
We need to watch out children more closely, because my mom can't sit in her car on every corner.
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