Today’s School Walk Out… An Open Letter to Teenage America

Posted: March 14, 2018 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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Before I go any further, you should probably know that as the son of a Vietnam era soldier, I’ve never been a fan of anything that involves marching and carrying signs. That being said, I will acknowledge that great good was done in the civil rights movement and a few other things and will concede that some marches have value. As I watched the news this morning at the gym, i saw students from a Philadelphia area school wearing T-shirts that said “ENOUGH.” on them for the nationwide demonstration being held today. I found this amusing since that is the title of my latest book. I’m not sure how I feel about this protest, but I do understand the heart behind it and wish these young folks well. No one should be afraid to go to school.

But I think that just might be my problem. Every time a school shooting occurs, the response is predictable. The media and a whole slew of politicians will once again go after the second amendment and the NRA. I guess I am always a little skeptical when politicians go after the second amendment since the second amendment was given largely to protect us from politicians. That being said, if they could promise me there’d never be another school shooting, I might still get on board. No one should be afraid to go to school.

But now that the protest is over, I need to tell all my young friends something. There are hundreds, no thousands, no tens of thousands of your peers, your classmates who are afraid to go to school every day, and if all the guns were melted into a statue of (fill in your favorite celebrity here) tomorrow, they would still be afraid. See they’re not afraid of guns, so much as they’re afraid of you. Okay maybe not you personally, but of the peer that is abusing them day after day after day. They’re terrified and they feel like no one cares. They need a friend and they need one badly. They need someone to care. They need you. The question was will you say “ENOUGH.” for them? Will you stand up for them? Will you break the cycle?

Did you ever notice that almost every single one of these shooters was bullied brutally before they did what they did? No I’m not saying they were right to do what they did, and I will never even attempt to justify their actions, but I will ask a question? Could have any of these situations been any different if someone showed them they cared? Of course, most bullied kids will not take this kind of action. Most don’t want to hurt anyone, they just want it to end, and while tragedies like Parkland are a national tragedy, about 14 teens in America every single day die by their own hands, because they just want the bullying to end. Someone needs to show them they care and if we do, it will turn the tide in ways the legislation you hope to see this day, cannot hope to come close to. If you want to make a real difference, it starts by being really different. If you really want to save lives, be a friend to the friendless. I take this a little personally because I was one of these people.

No one should be afraid to go to school. #sharehope

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Amen, Brother Dave!

  2. As a teacher in a public elementary schoo,l I see and try to defend students who are being bullied every day. There are a lot of reasons that bulling cannot be stopped. One the students have lost respect for human life. This comes from, among other things, playing violent video games into the night coming to school exhausted and angry because their parents make them come to school.

    Parents who cannot stop the addiction of violent video gaming. Many parents are single moms and alone they no longer can control their kids disrescpetful behavior and so they have given up.

    School administrators who’s hands are tied if parents will not support them in disicipline of bullies. Parents are in denial of their child being a bully. Laws that protect the students from punitive punishment that could be used to halt the cycle of disrespectful behavior. Parents are not held accontable, students are not held accountable.

    Not enough counselors to help the students who need help because so many of our children have already gone through traumatic situations at home, lost a loved one, domestic abuse, sexual victims themselves, drug and alcohol abuse victims the list goes on and on.

    And of course the most important is that we as Christian teachers have our hands tied when it comes to witnessing. Yes we can say I am praying for you and do it, but you cannot get to the real core of the solution to this problem.

    Salvation through Jesus Christ who paid for all our sins with His precious blood on Calvary who forgives these debts and sins and can wash them away and bring true forgiveness and healing to these wounds.

    Yes, most recently I have not felt safe in the classroom myself. This was before the most recent shootings.

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