I would guess that by now you are tired of seeing posts about gun control vs pro guns and so on. Rest assured this post will avoid those topics completely.
First off I am saddened by this event and the many other school shootings that have taken place and I hope that those affected can find some peace in the aftermath though that may seem impossible. I can’t imagine the pain of loss coupled with anger of those who have lost loved ones.
Secondly I don’t believe I am going to offer up a point of view or suggestion that is unique but it is one that I don’t see enough of in the aftermath of these types of events so here goes.
In the wake of these terrible events the focus seems to almost immediately turn toward a debate on gun control and while I can grasp why I would offer this suggestion to students across the nation. While politicians and the public fight about gun control laws look around you at school and notice the kids that are weird or that are different. Notice the kids who are sad or angry. Notice the kids who don’t have any friends, who sit alone or who seek out private places during lunch. Notice those kids and be their friend. I know that will feel awkward and uncomfortable. It may feel like social suicide but I would challenge you to get to know them. Listen to their life story and try to understand them. Open your heart to them and share your story, share your challenges. Stand up for kids who get bullied. Try to make a difference in their life. Try hard. I know some kids don’t have friends for a reason, maybe they look, smell, eat, dress act funny. Maybe they are rude, quiet, awkward or just entirely different from you. I am suggesting you look past all that and be their friend anyway. You don’t have to become like them to be their friend either, you can be you and still be their friend.
I know what I am suggesting is hard. Incredibly hard. I was in high school not that long ago and I can remember enough of what it felt like to know what I am suggestion is hard. But it is also hard to hear about school shootings, it is hard to hear of kids being bullied or lonely and left out. I don’t know if this would fix the problem we have but I believe it is worth striving for while waiting for or fighting for politicians and lawmakers to make changes or leave things the same.
Lastly I am grateful that there is debate on social media as I believe at the root of the debate is a desire to keep our schools safe. I am grateful there are people fighting for what they believe will make things better.