Hi, guys. I had intended to post something light-hearted and fun today in order to kick off the weekend. Unfortunately, today’s sad news made it impossible for me to act as though it was just another day. I’ve always said that I was going to keep this site as personal and uplifting as possible: no politics, no current events, no drama. But then again, I never was the type to follow rules—even my own.
In case you have no idea what I’m about to talk about, there was yet another school shooting today. This time it was at Santa Fe High School in southeastern Texas. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read through all of the details, but at the time I last checked, 10 individuals were wounded and another 10 were killed. The suspect is only 17 years old.
What in God’s green Earth is wrong with some of the people in this world?
Words cannot describe how disappointed and heartbroken I was to find out that yet another school had been victimized by school gun violence. Again, I thought to myself as I scrolled through the article. It’s happened again. I was confused and felt a pang of sorrow for the students who witnessed it, the victims, their families. But at the same time, I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, because for a split moment, I realized how desensitized I have truly become to hearing similar news.
Seriously, just how many school shootings have we had in the last year? The last five years?
How many teachers and students have senselessly lost their lives at the hands of people who should have never had access to lethal weapons in the first place?
How many traumatized kids will have to eventually return to a school that will forever be stained with the blood of their classmates and educators?
How many parents must bury their children before something will be done to prevent events like today’s from happening once more?
Who exactly is responsible for keeping our youth safe? Are they, the students, expected to fend for themselves? Surely they are not to accept possible death or injury by the hands of a fellow student or random trespasser to be an “on-the-job hazard”—a mere inevitability such as standardized testing or extracurriculars.
They are only children. Half of them struggle to write their names legibly, we can’t expect them to be equipped for the ravages of violence. The truth of the matter stands that they shouldn’t even have to worry about such things. They just shouldn’t. But who, I ask, should worry for them? Clearly, they can’t be a bit bothered.
I still remember how I felt when I came home from school years ago and saw media coverage about Columbine. I was sick to my stomach for weeks after that. Things like that just didn’t happen. I mean, if they did, I surely don’t remember them. My eyes were glued to the television screen in shock and awe. The notion was preposterous, completely hard to believe. I couldn’t imagine anyone ever going to school with the intent of killing their schoolmates and teachers. It all seemed like some sick and twisted joke to me then…like something someone had made up. It wasn’t real. It just couldn’t be real.
A few years later, when I had a chance to vacation in Colorado, a friend and I made a special trip to visit the infamous school’s grounds. It was hard for us to believe that the ground upon which we stood had once been the same place we’d both seen on the news. We could still remember the kids running across the grass in an attempt to reach safety, so it was hard to stop ourselves from wondering if the grass we were looking at was one and the same. And even though the school had long since undergone a renovation and did not appear to be the same exact school that had once been terrorized by gun violence, it still felt like it. The air was cold, heavy and indescribably sad. I couldn’t imagine being a student and having to walk that school’s halls…not even now.
And to think we’ve had countless more incidents such as Columbine since my visit. I couldn’t have kept track of them all if I’d wanted to. It’s just not right.
My heart sincerely goes out to not just the students of Santa Fe High School, but students, teachers and parents everywhere. I am genuinely sorry that today has served as a reminder that our youth simply aren’t safe and nothing is being done about it. I am sorry that there has to be a sliver of apprehension sending children off to school, for fear that you just may not see them again.
I am sorry that students can’t focus on final exams, prom, graduation and being young as they should be able to. I am sorry for all of the kids who recently walked out in protest of the gun violence going on in our country. I am sorry that we have once again failed to protect them despite their pleas. I am sorry that this can’t be just another Friday for the students of Santa Fe High School. I am sorry that they weren’t the first school to be in the news for something so horrific. I am also sorry that they probably, and most regretfully, won’t be the last.
I know I am not personally at fault for any of this. However, I can’t help but be sorry for as long as the people that could help put a stop to all of this nonsense fail to be sorry themselves.
It isn’t fair that this is the new normal. It isn’t fair for anyone involved. We all deserve better than this. School violence has to stop.
Let us keep the victims, their family and their friends in our prayers at this time.
Let us pray for all students and teachers everywhere.
Let us pray for humanity…we desperately need it.