It felt unnatural to publish my original post I had planned for Wednesday “My 2 Favorite Hair Products” even today without addressing the horrific event that occurred here in St. Mary’s on Tuesday and that we are still struggling to wrap our heads around.
I apologize if my writing seems a bit all over the place, but I am still trying to articulate exactly how I feel…
My brother Miles lives in Atlanta. He says he often finds himself trying to describe his hometown to his friends there. He says just saying it is a small town does not do it justice. He says the best way he can describe St. Mary’s is that it is Mayberry. And he’s right. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone cares for everyone. And everyone is “family”.
But, the unthinkable happened here in Mayberry on Tuesday. A high school student brought a gun to school with the intention of shooting another student. After it all played out, 2 students were shot and the student shooter was killed by the deputy assigned to the school (SRO). Never in a million years would I have thought that it would have happened here. NEVER! It’s too good of a place, it’s too special and it’s too protected. My naive bubble has been popped.
This High School is not where I went, this is not where my kids will go, but it is 15 minutes from our home. I have friends that work there, I have friends’ children that go there and it is part of our HOME here in St. Mary’s.
You guys, this is not a political post. I do have my strong opinions, but what I have learned in the last couple of years, intellectual conversations cannot be had when there are opposing views. I am going to chalk that up to true passion, because I do believe people in general are good. I say this because regardless of your political views, something needs to change.
Whether it is with common sense gun control, mental health legislation and funding or more parenting at home, things (possibly or probably ALL of the 3 I mentioned) NEED to change.
I found out on Tuesday while all of this was going on, the school my girls go to do not have bullet proof glass anywhere and the classroom doors have to be locked from outside. I will not condemn my school for that, can you imagine when it was built, those things were even considered?!? But, those things are things that can be and need to be changed IMMEDIATELY.
I don’t know if there is such thing as a silver lining in any of this, but finding out that idealistic St. Mary’s is not susceptible from this means NO WHERE is susceptible from this may possibly be it. We (self included) cannot live in a frame of mind that “it won’t happen here”. It did. There is so much change that needs to occur in my own childrens’ school alone as I mentioned above. None of our high schools and certainly none of the middle or elementary schools have metal detectors. And, are you guilty of thinking what I have thought (aka, stereotyping) – in the past, metal detectors at school meant we were in a BAD area. That is not the case anymore. All schools, everywhere need them.
I am going to leave it there, each of these topics could be discussed ENDLESSLY, or until actual effective and educated changes are made. But, right now we are all grieving and confused and hurt. This unfortunately is all of our new reality. Bullet proof backpacks and binders are the new rage…remember when it was LL Bean backpacks and Trapper Keeper binders that were the rage?!?! Just how far do we go to keep our children safe??
Yes! Something needs to change. I’ve often though smarter people than me can make it happen but now I’m realizing that it’s people just like me; people who’ve been touched by these tragedies are the ones that will advocate for change.
I couldn’t agree more (albeit a bit embarrassing), I have felt the same way. And probably more selfishly, “it will never happen here”. If I can at least begin with the girls’ school, I will feel like I am making some change.