There is no denying that violence in our schools has become epidemic. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the conversation must continue. We are addressing the issue of guns and mental health, but what about the core cause? What factors contribute, over the years, to create a school shooter?
Where are the discussions about the hostile environment – the perpetual social isolation and emotional suffering – found in our public schools? Is this problem too massive for anyone to address?
This climate promotes the alienation that produces perpetrators of tragedies like this one. Researchers have shown, for example, that a climate of alienation was one of the most common similarities between schools where mass shootings like this occurred. –Abdul El-Sayed
That statement shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our schools are failing on multiple levels and don’t appear to be improving. Social isolation brought on by bullying, the stifling of creativity, the persistent pressure to conform and perform can have a profound effect on the emotional stability of our kids.
If we want to see long term change to the raging violence in our country, we have to start at the beginning of the problem. We need to look at our parenting choices. We need to look at our school environments. We need to look at ourselves and determine how this village of ours is raising killers.
Kristie Liotta, a friend and fellow homeschooling mom, recently shared her thoughts on this publicly. Kristie has a MS in Child Psychology and worked as a school counselor. She has direct experience working with children in crisis from within the walls of the public school institution.
“Schools are a big failure. They don’t teach children how to think or how to succeed. They don’t provide equal opportunity. They don’t encourage ALL children to be their best SOMEBODY and now, they are NOT safe either.
Read John Gatto. Read John Holt. Read Charlotte Mason. Volunteer in a school. Really look. I know homeschooling doesn’t seem like an option for everyone, but really it is the only option parents have. Until the system crumbles and is rebuilt anew it will not be changed. Systems don’t change, because they are BIGGER then us. We don’t control systems, they control us. And the school system was created to form a mass work force, not to ensure the success of every student.
Teachers, principles, school counselors..they are ALL amazing people, and they all know that they are limited by the SYSTEM. Some are brave enough to keep trying, some don’t know what else to do, but they all know its true.
Sure, some kids come through unscathed..but most do not. Why do you think they LOVE snow days and summer? Do you believe children are lazy and don’t want to learn? That’s school brainwashing. Children KNOW that schools stifle them…nature, books, passions, conversation, community,loving families and friendships inspire them and motivate them. I know some of you will say that some children are better off at school, but then the role of school changes. It becomes a counseling center, a doctors office, a place where kids get fed. We need other services for this. School can not and should not be a child’s family…
Will you think about it for a moment? Is this system harming your child? Is it promoting peace for individuals? Can we logically expect peaceful citizens to come out of a twelve year stint in a hostile environment?
Can we parent for peace?
What would happen if instead of worrying about preparing children to face the cruel, harsh real world, if we worked to show our children that people can be kind? That people can choose empathy, understanding, love and the value of being good citizens? What if we guide our children to make good choices, to learn skills and freedom with responsibility? What if we give them so much love, no matter what life throws at them they will feel strong, courageous and ready to face what ever comes their way? – Positive Parenting Connection
Parent for peace. Parent for freedom. Respect your children. Take their fears seriously. Take their dreams seriously. Listen when they speak. Hear them. Respect them for who they are now as well as who they want to be. Don’t push your own agenda, even if you’re sure you know better. They will find their way. Help them. Protect them, but don’t hinder them. Give them wings to fly and always, always be their safe place to land.
And know that opting out of this system and allowing your child to live and learn in freedom is your right, and it holds amazing possibilities for us all.
Your opinions and questions are welcome in the comments section below. Please be respectful to others. We are all doing the best we can as parents.
What part do you think the school environment / educational institution has in creating violent adolescents?
Did your education inspire you? Give you confidence? Or did you spend 12 + years jumping through hoops, hoping it would lead to a successful career and happy life?