After the recent mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, only 45 minutes away, I am increasingly concerned, to put it mildly. No, actually, I am becoming down right worried, scared for the safety of my 16-year-old son while he attends school. With less than a week away from the end of the school year, I’m feeling more than just the normal relief. As I continue to watch the news of these tragic shootings, and grieve for the victims and their families, I still think this is unimaginable. A possibility of a shooter here, in our quite neighboring communities? Nah, Unthinkable! That only happens in larger areas, big cities. But now …here it is, at our doorstep.
I see the posts on social media, “Pray for Santa Fe.” I certainly can pray for everyone involved in this horrific, senseless crime. Praying helps, but it does not exactly calm the fears and growing concerns I have moving forward for the future and the safety of all our children. I feel I am not alone in my thoughts here, certainly plenty are expressing their degree of astonishment, but yet it seems as if no one is really talking about it. We have talk of more gun control, of more mental help awareness …but how do we feel as parents now, in letting our children go to school? The unthinkable, unimaginable is happening!! How safe are our children at school anymore? What are the schools actually doing now, in light of this most recent shooting? As a Mother, inside, I am shouting, “No, stop! Don’t let him go to school!” Is anyone else secretly screaming these very words? This feeling of insecurity should horrify us all!
So what is to be done? As a Mother it is my job to love, provide, protect and teach my child. I take pride in this role, but at the moment I am feeling quite helpless to protect my child from this type of violence. There are some things however, that are within my control. In our homes, as parents, we can be more effective at closely monitoring our children – relationships, time on social media – what they are looking at, whom they are talking to, who are their friends. Spend time talking with your children, ask questions, and listen to them – showing an interest in their activities and what goes on at school, without judgement. The better informed we are, the better equipped we are. We all should be working towards preventing the unthinkable from happening again. Our children deserve a safe environment to learn and grow. They are our future. Let’s protect our future now.
As always …
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