I feel as though I would be remiss in not mentioning the heinous tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech on Monday, though I don't want to dwell on it. I feel badly for the school; how could they have predicted if/when this guy would go off? I feel badly for the shooter; what in his life went so wrong that it came to one moment of utter destruction for not only himself but lots of innocent people? I feel badly for the shooter's parents; how on earth do you not blame yourselves--and should you? But mostly, of course, I feel badly for the victims, many of whom were young people just beginning their lives and who did not deserve to die like rats at the hands of a man they didn't even know. If you haven't taken a moment to go through their photos, you should. You can see life and hope and love and what might have been. It's heart wrenching.
Oddly enough, I'm reading Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes, a story of the aftermath of a massacre at a high school. I almost couldn't pick the book back up Monday night because it was too real. So far it's basically a "victim" book, meaning that a lot of print has been typed about how mistreated the shooter was. I understand that, but I don't think it excuses his actions. Perhaps as I read on I'll come to a different conclusion. The thing with Picoult's books, for me at least, is that she manages to get those characters, for better or for ill, right up under my skin. I feel physically ill when I read what happened to Peter in that book, and it's hard to separate my common sense from my emotions as I read. Which honestly, isn't all that different from the way I feel about what occurred at Virginia Tech.
Sometimes I see children at school who are outsiders or loners, and sadly, I don't always reach out to them like I should. More often, though, teachers can tell which children will be the ones to be violent or "go off" or something along those lines...and there's not a damned thing we can do about it. The legal red tape is astounding, and with NCLB, it's much, much harder to get through those hoops to get a child what he/she needs (because we're all alike and nobody is special ed; it's just we teachers who are lazy about meeting every single need, etc.). So what to do for these kids? Tell someone? Who will listen? Who will help? You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. You just have to pray that something will get through to the kid and that you won't be in the line of fire someday.
Matter of fact, maybe I should just pray...just pray for hope, guidance, and maybe a bit of understanding, and that the good in this situation will eventually be seen.