At one point, students bringing cell phones to school was a concern in the forefront. How innocent a problem it was. It is no longer a distraction but an essential safety tool. The stress level of students, faculty, and parents is at an inexcusable high. School shootings are no longer a rare event and school safety is a top concern.
Parents with varying aged children who attend more than one school building feel the need to arm each of them with a working cell phone with that emergency in mind. One school sends home a letter stating an empty .22 caliber firearm clip was found in the glove compartment of a school bus, while another has a student who has threatened to bring in a gun sits quietly dressed all in black through the school day and turned out his father’s gun was missing.
How do we get to focus on our own work as parents and how can we expect our students and teachers to concentrate on multiplication and adverbs when that fear crosses their minds?!
In the minds of those who’ve done the deed, there’s an anger there that has exploded and we need to understand the whys. It’s the only way to stop it or at the very least slow the rate of it happening down. The weapon, the access, and the full history including medications need to be examined. It’s not a one answer problem. Mental health and gun control are only parts of the puzzle. Other factors do exist. We need to see them in order to change things.
Make no mistake, this is the biggest on-soil terrorist threat we face at the present time. For those who do the deed, there should be no privacy. It should be lost with the horrific act. Phone, patient and other history needs to be examined. We may end up finding surprising common factors.
We need answers in order to go back to focusing on the task at hand instead of horrible possibilities. Until that time comes, parents will arm their children with working cell phones regardless of whether they can afford it or not.