I had to sit and clear my head before I even decided to write and speak on this topic. My views on things like Columbine or any school shooting, tend not to be the normal response. This topic along with bullying, go hand in hand. Sort of like a cause and effect. But like most, I just wish things like this would stop happening.
Most people respond with disparaging remarks about the shooter, or how they need to die. People’s comments go all over the place. But no one ever really asks or takes the time to say “What led this person to do this?” “Could this have been prevented if we paid more attention?” And in no way am I defending these heinous acts. Because there are too many outlets made available to students if there are problems.
It’s not that I’m cold hearted to the situation or the lives lost. I just always want to know the motivation for it. What happen that led you to do such a distasteful act? Like the world doesn’t have enough to deal with among ourselves over petty things. I’ve always been a person who likes all the pieces to the puzzle.
Situations like these always start the same so it seems. It’s like some crazy recipe:
First start off with an-
- Angry and bullied kid who just typically wants to fit in and be cool.
- make sure they are social outcasts. (the weirder the better, adds flavor.)
- The possibility of a bad home life. (optional)
- Stir and pick at this kid until he finally explodes
I guess for me, this type of situation is old. Because we never find out anything really to prevent things of this nature from happening. As far as I know, most of these shooters-wind up killing themselves. Maybe I just look at this from a different angle, I figure if one of these guys actually lived we could pick their brain. Find out what led you to commit a horrid crime. Because it’s not video games, or movies-it’s something going on in their mind. Something triggering it to make them react, and I guess I’m just one of those people who want to know why.
Yes, I know kids at school can be and will be cruel. The little bastards have no consciences. Lol. I lived through it. Was I pissed? Yes. Did I shoot up a school? No. Did I fight back? All the time, in different various ways.
Sort of hate to say it, but there’s no rule or law saying that you have to be friends with the weird kid. Nothing stating you have to be friends with everybody. I mean we carry these selfish thoughts and sayings even into adulthood. How many times have we heard “Just cause you’re a nice guy, doesn’t mean she has to give you a chance.” (shrugs). But staying on topic.
I recall back in third grade, I got bullied because I was fat, or husky as a kid. So I told my mother, she just like all clueless parents, say “Tell a teacher or a person of authority”. Sounds like the right mature thing to do right? Well I did, it made the situation worse. And cause the ‘cool kids’ got in trouble because I snitched it made it worse. Which made everyday hell for me.
Some days were better than others, but still I just wanted to be left alone. And all I got were pointless mundane sayings from adults who hadn’t been in school since the days of entertainment was sitting around the radio listening to their favorite shows.
‘Just ignore them’, gee-can’t tell how well that one worked. lol See I didn’t have the kind of mother like some kids have these days. The kind of mothers who would go up to the school, who would raise the 9th level of hell if someone else’s kid put their hands me. Now I had a ‘well just pray about it and do your work’ kinds of mother. But then that would only work for so long. I didn’t have that ‘you either beat his ass or I’mma beat your ass for losing when you get home’, parent-unfortunately.
And long story short, I wound up losing my shit. A kid thought it would be cute to call me fat, and rub my belly-saying a gene would pop out. Well that kid got three warnings to fuck off. The fourth time he touched me, he wound up with a bloody nose. After that I never had to worry about a bully in elementary. Only thing I had to worry about is being put on punishment and getting whooped when I got home for defending myself.
So I did the math in third grade. If I snitched, more kids picked on me-which made life a living hell. The adults praised me for being brave, while my peers shunned me-losing situation. If I fought back, and made examples of the bullies who tried me, it was win lose. I would win the respect of my peers, and people would think twice before messing with me. The losing part would be when I got home.
They tell us all the time bullying is a part of life. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” Some people even feel so comfortable saying ‘well why don’t they just kill themselves, why injure others’. “Only the strong survive”. Etc They have all these sayings and wonder why so many kids are fucked up. And yes home life plays a HUGE part in how some of these kids turn out as well.
It hits home every time I hear about a kid getting bullied, especially when they drive the kid to take their own life. And this generation is so fickle and fucked up, that I can’t even take this ‘student walk out’ serious. Are they walking out cause some of them don’t want to be in class? Are they walking out because they really care about what’s going on? Or is more like: ‘yeah make it harder for these losers and weirdo’s to get guns, but I’ll still continue to pick on them every day and ruin their self-esteem just cause I pick on them doesn’t mean he has the right to shoot me.’
Because in my head, ‘if you all can come together to stage a walk out against the violence-then what’s the difference from standing up and helping the kid you see get bullied in the hall ways or in class’. Now now everyone don’t all stand up and answer all at once.
At one point and time school use to be a safe place. I would see those little yellow signs posted everywhere. School was an escape for some kid’s abusive life at home, it was the place you could sneak food in case there wasn’t at home. Now it’s like school is just as bad as everywhere else. I guess now the only safe place is church—-oh wait….yeah they started running in them and shooting too. My bad.
I’m not ashamed to say throughout my elementary, middle and even high school years that I got in lots of fights. I’ve blackened eyes, broken a few kid’s limbs and even choked out some people. All because I looked like an easy target. All because someone felt cause I was different or looked different-that I should be the topic of ridicule to make them feel good about themselves.
I recall an argument my parents had about me, when I got kicked out a private school after my freshman year of high school. I would have to go to public school, and my father suggested that I have a gun-especially with how bad things were in Gary, Indiana at the time. My mother was against it. And it’s a rare occasion that I actually agree with my mom. Because I can’t really be sure, if I did have it-would I even be here writing this blog entry. That’s one of those pivotal moments people always see in time travel movies or television. One single moment could change and effect one’s life, and take it down a completely different road.
Sad to say I have come to terms with school shootings. I haven’t accepted it though. I have come to terms with knowing I may possibly hear about a kid who took his own life because he or she was bullied at school, at least three times a month. That is if it’s worthy enough to make it to the front page of the local paper, or floating around on social media.
I’ve come to terms that every day there is an “Anna Baker” (13 reasons why) somewhere lurking who needs help, but doesn’t know who or where to turn to.
The ironic thing is, we spend every day in life surrounded by racism, sexism, hate crimes and sex crimes. All of these things have become permanent stains in the clothing of America. No Oxy clean or Tide with bleach can wash away these stains in the jeans of America. Although I try to scrub all this away, school shootings sadly is another stain that’s unwashable.