December 17, 2012

Why? How? A Grandmother's Questions

My stomach twisted into a knot today as I drove to my granddaughter's school.  I kept my voice light and pointed out the various animals along the way, like we normally do, but inside I prayed.  I prayed hard.  The line of cars dropping kids off was shorter than normal.  Fear? Flu? Both?

When Columbine happened, both of my daughters had graduated from high school.  My stepchildren still attended school but two hours away. I never had to drop them off at the doors of the school.  And I admit that when Columbine happened, I never dreamed this would become a recurring tragedy.  Like the rest of us, as each shooting occurred, I staggered under the horror, but today it was different.  That was my heart walking in those doors.

My granddaughter is in kindergarten, which hits home even harder.  She came to live with us a month ago, and each morning I drop her off in front of the school and watch her prance into the building happy to be there.  I don't want her to lose that joy for school, that feeling of safety within those halls.

Somehow, we must find an answer.  I don't understand why this keeps happening.  It never happened when I was growing up.  What's making our young men go on this rampage?  Many people point to gun control.  Others point to mental illness. Are these the problem, or is there something deeper happening?  Guns and mental illness prevailed long before these shootings started.

It dumbfounds me, but then I attended a high school where no one locked their locker.  At the beginning of the year, students removed the lock and hung it inside the locker, only to be replaced at the end of the year.  Our things were safe.  No one touched them.

That's not the world we live in now.  Something must be done, but what?

5 comments:

Phil Arnold said...

Barbara: You said that in-school violence never happened when you were growing up. You also said guns and mental illness prevailed back then. The one thing different now are those hideous, viscous video games. If a teenager spends endless hours killing people in these games, it has to affect their brains.

HenryD said...

When I graduated in the 70's boys carried pocket knives (we sharpened them in shop or Ag class) and boys went hunting before school and cleaned shotguns in the parking lot while chatting with "the" Sheriff's Deputy in our area. High School students drove the school buses.

Not in more, a pocket kife could get you expelled for the rest of the year. Adults drive buses and are abused by students.

Where did our world go wrong?

Barbara V. Evers said...

Phil, I don't doubt there is some validity to your point about video games. Killing has become glorified in many ways because of them. One correction, though, I didn't say in-school violence never happened. It just wasn't a problem in my high school except for the occasional fight between two kids.

Barbara V. Evers said...

Henry, high school students drove our buses, too. That changed soon after I graduated. I wish I knew where things went wrong, but I think there are too many factors to point to just one. Pulling God out of the schools probably hasn't helped any. We used to say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of every school day. Now, you can lose your job for even mentioning your faith or having a Bible in the classroom.

Vonda Skelton said...

It's definitely a different world than when we were growing up. We know what we need, but America rejects the cure.

God, have mercy...