I spent my weekend unfriending people on Facebook for imbecilic comments about the tragedy in Sandy Hook. Around 200 of them. All ignorant assholes. All. It is unfathomable that grown people are so stupid.
Go forth and learn some critical thinking skills. Please, for the sake of humanity. Despite everything, I’m just so thankful that our schools are filled with so many incredible teachers and administrators. We are lucky to have people like that who love and care for our children so much.
Anyway, all of the unfriending wasn’t because people had opinions that differ from my own, it was just the need to go into a 400 comment war with others about it is just ridiculous. It’s just such an incredible waste of time. What is fighting on Facebook about gun control going to do for anyone? It’s just creating more anger and rage. I actually saw a guy call his OWN MOTHER “a stupid and hateful bitch” because she had the audacity to disagree with him.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t think fighting and spewing vitriol at one another via social media is going to help anyone. More than anything, I wish there would be as much focus on our country’s mental healthcare system as there is on gun control. It’s shameful that there are not more resources and assistance for people dealing with mental illness and for their families. It’s disgusting that that we don’t have state-funded and federally-funded hospitals and treatment centers for people to go to.
This article written by a mother struggling with a child who has mental illness is one of the most poignant things I’ve read since this tragedy. She is absolutely right, “No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options.” For about the hundredth time in the past few days, I found my self uncontrollably sobbing.
This is the exact situation we face in our schools. We have students enrolled who we know are dangerous and who routinely scare their professors and frighten their classmates. We use all of our resources to try to get these students help, but you can’t force someone into counseling or treatment. Therefore, we have to be extremely cautious around a student that poses a serious threat until that student graduates, drops out on their own accord, or does something dangerous enough that we can refuse to re-enroll them. Until then, our hands our tied. Tragically, Virginia Tech and countless other schools have paid the price for this failed system.
One of my first thoughts about the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting was that the University of Colorado was incredibly lucky that they were not the target. School is extremely stressful for a thousand reasons and the office area I work in deals with the majority of students appealing decisions about enrollment, grades, academic misconduct, and academic suspension. No student is happy when they are in that situation and a student struggling with mental illness on top of disciplinary actions is a scary situation.
So, oops on the rant. Did not mean to go there. I was just going to talk about how stupid people are on Facebook (which by the way, if you have time for a 400 comment fight then you need to GET A JOB LOSER) and then gripe about that hideously ill-fitting thing Kristen Stewart wore. Anyway, that’s that and I don’t have the time or energy to write something else . I just hope that as a nation we can look at these tragedies outside of just the narrow scope of just gun control. Our mental healthcare system is a failure and it’s impossible to ignore any longer. We shouldn’t be afraid to work in our schools and we certainly shouldn’t have to be afraid to leave our children in them.