Something is clearly wrong here. That a man can join the military, receive training and serve his country in war only to come home at the end of his tour of duty to be gunned down by a student at the school where he teaches, is definitely an indication of a serious problem.
No doubt it will be revealed that the gun the student used to kill former Marine and math teacher Mike Landesberry at Sparks Middle School in Nevada was legally purchased and owned by his parents, as if that makes the consequences of its use any less deadly. Still others will point out that had the teacher himself been armed he would have stood a much better chance of averting this most recent school tragedy.
Meanwhile calls to address a bigger issue stand to be drowned out by the ever louder diatribes emanating from both sides of the gun control debate; namely bullying. Why did this 12-year-old child feel the need to go to school with a gun? What was it that drove him to take such drastic measures? The availability of the gun? I don’t think so; many children live in houses with guns and don’t take it upon themselves to bring a weapon to school and shoot their fellow students and teachers. Will we learn that the child suffered from a mental illness? Perhaps. What we do know from initial statements made by his schoolmates is that he was being bullied. One of them, Amaya Newton, said she “saw him getting bullied a couple of times, and I think he took out his bullying.”
October 2013 is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month the webpage provides a wealth of information for parents, teachers and, most importantly, children who are being bullied.
I think it is important to mention that bullying has developed from the days when it was essentially limited to shaking down a kid for his or her lunch money – not to imply that this was acceptable. Today bullies can take advantage of social media to make their victims’ lives a living hell around the clock if they want to. While the bullies have gone high-tech, many of a certain age still see the problem as something a few boxing lessons in the basement can help a child deal with. Maybe that was a suitable defense at one time, but not now. October 2013 is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and the webpage provides a wealth of information for parents, teachers and, most importantly, children who are being bullied. If anything less than horrific can stem from this school shooting perhaps it will be to draw the much-needed attention of society to the very serious problem of bullying.