Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor:

In the aftermath of another deadly school shooting where a gunman took 10 more lives (8 students and 2 teachers) and 13 more were wounded in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18, 2018; we realize that school shootings in recent times have become quite a worrisome issue.  Are our local schools safe?  More than one will question it.  Tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton CT (on 12/14/2012 – 26 deaths/2 injuries), Marshall County High School in Marshall County, KY (on 1/23/2018 – 2deaths/ 18 injuries), Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL (on 2/14/2018 – 17 deaths/ 14 injuries), Rancho Tehama in CA in 2017 (6 deaths/ 18 injuries), Columbine HS (15 deaths/ 21 injuries), and the Virginia Tech shooting (33 deaths/23 injuries) to name a few prove that this unbelievable and unpredictable trend can impact any school.

It can impact your child’s school.  No one really wants to hear it, but we all have to.  The time has come to act.  We do not need any more victims.  We do not want to bury any more children, innocent children, children that we parents, we adults, have failed to protect.  The hardest part seems to be the lack of control over these horrific events.  People seemed to believe this would never happen to them personally.  “This” only happens in the movies or in another state.  Unfortunately, it could potentially occur in our city as well as in any other city.

We all witnessed multiple school shooting reports across different states.  We also lived through 9/11/2001 in NY and the Boston Marathon bombing on 4/15/2013.  We need to admit to ourselves, we have passed the phase of being surprised or even shocked that things like these do happen.  They could happen in our neighborhood as well.

The time has come to clear our conscience.  How are we going to face it?  What steps should we take to guard our lives and more importantly to guard all the innocent lives of our children who have no other option but to attend school daily?  We should never ever put them at risk.  Schools should be safe from the killers and their actions.  There should be no doubt in any person’s mind about school safety.  Hard working parents deserve peace of mind knowing that they will be able to pick up their children after class.  Students deserve a safe environment to encourage their trust and learning process.

We should not put anyone at this kind of risk.  Therefore, how can we reduce the risk?  How do we prevent future unforeseen school massacres?  First of all we cannot afford to just wait for the wave of evil events to pass.  We have to open our eyes to the possibility of a tragedy in our local schools which could impact our families.  Second of all, let’s review the causes that produce shootings or other acts of terror in an attempt to prevent another tragedy.

Most of us realize that current gun control laws are not sufficient; teenagers or young adults should not be able to easily access murder weapons.  Mental screenings should be wide spread and easily accessible.  More troubled youth should be able to obtain help (screenings and medical treatments) prior to their violence accelerating to the boiling point when it is simply too late.  Youth programs and the promoting of a healthy family lifestyle should become our main priorities. Families fall apart due to drug and alcohol addictions, mental issues or financial instability; they are impacted by a variety of modern day societal conditions.  These situations quite often create dysfunctional families.  Basic family structure and functions are impacted.  Consequently, we have more and more individuals who struggle in life.

Some of these individuals might be at high risk of becoming active shooters one day.  Due to the overwhelming effects of recent school shootings, we can no longer pretend they do not happen.  Too many lives have been lost and will never be brought back.  Let’s treat the possibility of a real attack in our local schools as a wakeup call.  Let’s stand together and vote to improve gun control laws, mental illness treatments, and community youth programs to help all teenagers and especially fatherless boys to cope with the loss of the father figure in their lives.

Let’s never stop fighting to better our lives and our children’s lives, to safeguard the innocent and vulnerable lives of children and their educators.  They are our future and we are the ones responsible for them.  We will be accountable for our actions to protect them or to fail them.  If you are not an active voter and an active community member, become one! Believe: We can save lives!  We needto save lives.  No one else will.  Remember: If you see something, say something.  After all, shootings are devastating to society.  They create a lack of trust and basic security.  A child in school should not be afraid of losing their life.  In order for the child to concentrate on their studies, they need stability and safety.  Let’s review current policies and let’s promote new ones to not fail. .  It is high time that the authorities prompted by local communities did something to further improve school safety.

Evelina Adolphus

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