In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, there are so many questions. Why was this monster allowed to walk outside the school and shoot for 14 minutes? Why didn’t police go in and take him down? Why did they wait for Border Patrol, who came on their own volition? It’s hard to find answers, and quite frankly, the truth.
I know that many questioned the fact that a locked door of the school was left open allowing the shooter to enter. Many have said it was intentional so the shooting could happen. I really don’t think that is why the door was left open. Anyone who has taught and has had locked outside doors in their school knows that this measure sounds great, but in some locations can be inconvenient and even troubling for some teachers. Most schools don’t give all the staff keys to these doors. I don’t know why, but I think it might be that they are afraid the keys will be stolen or lost. So, a teacher who takes her class outside may not be able to get them back inside that locked door. They leave it ajar.
Or, for the sake of ease, they leave it open as they go to their cars to get something they left there. We’ve all done it, so let’s not judge these people. They had no idea that a mass murder was going to happen at their school.
The locked door proved to be fatal. But it is just one event in a tragedy that started over 13 years ago. It started when that killer started school. Something about this kid was not right, and people knew it a long time ago. There were signs. His friends knew. His teachers knew. His family knew. They knew something was off with him. I’ll bet they ignored it.
Why didn’t anyone do anything? It’s said he tortured animals, bullied others, was cutting himself, was posting about killing his grandmother online. Yes, they were private messages, but someone had to be the recipient. There were plenty of signs.
But we’ve gotten used to ignoring signs. I had a friend who was murdered in the late 90’s by his stepson. The whole family was murdered. He didn’t use a gun. He used a hammer. The young man had been abused by this real father, tortured animals, and wrote about violence. I remember my friend telling me they were taking his stepson to counseling. A few days later, my friend was dead. No one wanted to admit that this kid was dangerous and needed something more than tolerance.
That was in the late 90’s. Now, we can add a couple more factors to similar situations. We can add the administrative indifference of the public schools when violence occurs or when a kid acts violently.
All over the country, public schools are letting children “act out their anger” with violence in the classrooms. Principals and Guidance Counselors on the scene no longer restrain children when they start throwing chairs, hitting others, etc. They have been told not to intervene.
Teachers I know have told me how time after time, children as young as second grade have to be evacuated from their classrooms while one child has a violent episode and teachers, and counselors leave him/her free to do so. Sometimes they can’t even get the other kids out of the way of these violent tirades, putting the innocent kids in danger.
But it’s all in the name of “restorative discipline.”
Don’t be fooled. This approach does nothing to restore anyone and it isn’t discipline. It’s the adults in the rooms accepting and allowing children to act out their bad behavior with impunity.
Restorative discipline is described as the alternative to punitive discipline. Punitive discipline is when someone does something wrong and suffers consequences. You know, what most of us had growing up.
Here is a definition of “restorative discipline” from the Oakland, California Public Schools guide:
See that word salad above? That is what we call a non-descript definition. Whoever wrote this did so with as much passion and high-minded delusion as a 70’s Coca-Cola Commercial. (If you are too young for that reference, look it up.) This definition has every buzzword, every scrap of politically correct lingo and NOT ONE ACTUAL fact or step for implementation. (Strange but somehow, I hear Kamala Harris’s reading this definition as a speech while wildly waving her arms, nodding and cackling.)
But it’s okay, it’s inspired by the practices of “indigenous peoples.” Sure. I’ll bet those indigenous peoples let members of their tribes act out violently against others all the time, patted them on their heads and told them it was okay.
This is what is being done in our public schools. And our children are paying the price over and over again.
In his book, WHY MEADOW DIED, Andrew Pollack shares how the PROMISE discipline initiative created by the Obama Department of Education allowed the gunman who killed 12 students in Parkland, Florida to slip through the cracks and become a school shooter.
The program was created to “keep students out of the school to jail pipeline” but it was ineffective, particularly in the case of the MSD massacre. Critics described it as a way to give “troublemakers an undeserved break for criminal behavior.” It is a diversion program to keep kids from going to jail, but Ryan Petty, whose child was killed at Stoneman Douglas, called it a “pre-diversion of a diversion program.”
I think this is a good description of where schools are now. Instead of holding students responsible for their actions, instead of giving them real counseling, schools are “allowing them to act out their anger.” It’s not called the “Promise Program” but it has the same origin and justification, the Department of Education that claims this provides “equity.” They are diverting punishment and allowing kids to become experts in violence.
As for counseling, it is almost non-existent, unless you call giving kids free pizza and turning one’s head the other way when they respond with violence.
As with most other programs the U.S. Department of Education pushes, schools make out monetarily on the deal and are punished if they don’t comply. They bow at the altar of fake equity and pretend to help minority students. Therefore, they underreport discipline, skewing numbers to make the programs look successful. This is the problem that let Nikolas Cruz become a school shooter. Schools’ culture of tolerance lets students like Nikolas Cruz slide – Sun Sentinel (sun-sentinel.com)
Year after year, as a student goes through this system, he/she becomes bolder and more entrenched in his/her violent behavior. By the time a kid gets to be 18, he’s bullying others and cutting himself, shooting his grandmother and killing 19 children and 2 teachers. We end up with an out-of-control adult who commits horrible acts of violence.
I’m not saying that the PROMISE program was specifically in place in Texas, but I am saying that the same theories that it included ARE! And those theories are in force in many schools across the country. In their incessant need to gain acceptance from “woke” organizations and the bureaucracy of the Marxists in the Federal and State Education Departments, schools pretend they are doing the right thing for kids when they are actually putting them in danger.
Add the absolute refusal to protect our schools and our students with increased security measures and we have a disaster. Witness all the liberal school districts in the country who removed school resource officers/police from their schools only to see a huge increase in school violence. Many are now begging them to come back.
Of course, California seems to be ramping up the insanity:
There are solutions. Unfortunately, the political class won’t like these solutions because they are not easy. They take time and money.
Of course, liberals want to blame gun owning, law abiding citizens for the violence. They want to abolish the Second Amendment. This won’t solve the problem. Remember, the Second Amendment has been in place in this country for almost 250 years and mass shootings outside of war were not a regular occurrence. When I was teaching in the 70’s and 80’s, kids drove their trucks to school with rifles on their gun racks and this kind of violence was non-existent.
It’s not about the guns, it’s about mental health. But providing treatment is expensive.
If we can send billions to Ukraine, we can find the money to provide students with real mental health care as needed. This can’t be done unilaterally. Parents need to be included in those decisions, since parents are often the first to see problems and be victims of the violence older children may perpetrate. Violent children of any age must be removed from classrooms.
In Nikolas Cruz’s case in Florida, the third- or fourth-time police were called to his home for domestic violence should have been the signal that something needed to be done to put him into mental health care.
Teachers and administrators need to be empowered to enforce rules and to call police when needed. They need to be listened to when it comes to what they see and what needs to be done. Trained School Resource Officers should be put in place to guard our most precious children.
And there MUST be real discipline to go along with all of this.
Of course, school buildings need to be reinforced and retrofitted with security measures to prevent the kind of “open door” event that invited a murderer into the school that day in Texas.
Nothing can completely ensure that violence in schools won’t happen. But we need to give our children the best we have to prevent it.
We need to close the door and keep it locked.
Additional info: This is the Oakland School System “Restorative Justice” guide, which is really about “Restorative Discipline.” Let me know what YOU think.