A Florida teacher responds to the Florida school massacre

your say February 22, 2018 01:00

A Facebook post written by a Teacher of the Year at a Florida middle has gone viral in the wake of last week’s school shooting in the same state that claimed 17 lives. 

In perhaps the most heart-rending and “truthful” response to America’s latest mass-shooting tragedy, Kelly Guthrie Raley writes:

“Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation. 

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it – violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

“I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. … Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough ‘friends’ at school. Be their parent. 

“My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency … There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. 

“Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?”

I agree with everything Raley says, except on the video games, where her advice should come with a caveat – age.  Older kids understand violent games are make-believe, but young kids think even cartoons are real. So, a five-year-old playing a violent game, where a person dies but has another life, does cloud his/her own thinking about the finality of death.

I was raised around guns and we never had such problems.

Respect the tool – automobile, truck, skateboard, drillpress or gun – and the results won’t surprise you.

Michael Weldon 

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