Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dedicated to my school, Steelton-Highspire

Today Friday, September 13, 2013 there was a shooting at 250 Reynders St at the Steelton-Highspire High School in Steelton, Pennsylvania. 9 people, including six students and three teachers were gunned down by an as of yet unidentified, current student of the school. Law Enforcement and School Administrators have secured the crime scene and closed the institution until further notice.

This is what the first paragraph of a School Shooting report looks like. It gives the time, location, amount of people killed, instructions as to a future date and a
brief description of the perpetrator of the crime. We've all seen this kind of report by now. The majority of us have only seen it on TV or read about it in the news, but some have witnessed and experienced a real life shooting before. By writing this, I am hoping to prevent another one from happening in the future. I am hoping to touch as many people as possible with these words.

Nobody wants to be apart of another Columbine shooting. No parent wants to hear a report on the radio or get a sudden phone call about an incident at their
child's school. And no child ever wants their school to become a war zone, where the Library, Cafeteria and Auditorium become bunkers for cover rather than safe havens for learning and positive congregating.

I've asked myself, "What can be done?" What can we do to prevent people from continuing this awful trend? Since when did Schools become the place to bring
violence? I remember when I was in school, a fight between two students was the worst thing that could happen or if one of my friends or someone I knew got
in big trouble they got suspended. Now kids have to worry about being shot by a fellow classmate!? I named this post 'School Shooting at Steelton-Highspire,'
because that is where I attended high school. And that is where I hope to never hear about a school shooting or a violent incident, in the news.

I want as many people as possible to read this and think about what if it would ever happen at my school? What if I was shot in school? What if I was the one
doing the shooting? What would happen? People would die. Families would be destroyed. Students, Children and Teachers would be killed and witness death. The place where I met friends, learned algebra, had my first kiss, my first dance, my Prom and the place where I built the foundation for my future would become a burial ground and the place that the worst moment of my life occurred.

The Answer to this Riddle is simple; Communicate. Students need to learn about each other. Administrators & Teachers need to know their students, not just as
educators but as surrogate parents. Classes need to be geared towards not just the fundamentals of learning, but also the human side of who we are. Have your
class write a paper about "A Great Day I had this Summer." Or create an assignment that requires students to learn something about each other. Have a Journal Day where the students write an entry and then everyone trades Journals so each student can read what another student wrote. Or even better, how about a project on the school grounds where the students and teachers build something together to commemorate & celebrate their time together, like the Steel-High Class of 1996 did with Project O.S.C.A.R. or Outdoor School and Community Activity for the Rollers:)

We can't all just be faces in the crowd. We have to be human beings with families and stories. We have to communicate with each other and let one another know that it's going to be okay. We Are All In This Together.....

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