No Longer A Safe Haven.

I can’t believe that today I’m reading another news article about a fatal school shooting in our country. My thoughts are with the family of those affected at the small school in Tennessee.

What has happened to our schools? If any place should be safe for children outside of the home, it’s their school. This didn’t happen at a big, crowded school in a seedy neighborhood in a large city. No, this shooting took place at a relatively rural area of Tennessee. What is going on?

I graduated from school almost 20 years ago and I know much has changed during that time. Students have access to more information than ever before, via the internet, cell phones, instant messenger, all of it. Heck, as a student I was very excited when the school received 30 donated televisions, all black and white, so that we could have a “multimedia” experience in the classroom. The most violent video game that I remember from my teenage years was maybe Frogger and that was because the large pixels on the screen that vaguely resembled a frog went “splat” when a vaguely shaped truck ran over it. Today there’s video games featuring a huge amount of violence including drive by shootings, rapes, robbery… is this really necessary?

Sometimes I wonder if not much has changed after all. Maybe I was sheltered. Perhaps I never had access to violent games, movies, etc. of my generation so that’s why I never had the urge to shoot anyone at school. If that’s the case, then that’s just more testimony to the fact that my parents did a great job raising my sister and I.

In the past, I’ve joked that school violence can be blamed on photocopiers. With the departure of the old “ditto machines” (remember handouts with purple ink?), teachers and students are no longer getting high on the fumes. Bring back the ditto machines!

If it were only that simple.