A Speechless Thursday – School Essentials in the USA

I cannot change this world but I believe things would change IF we would dare to play this commercial every day on all TV channels during prime time. If we would share it on social media EVERYWHERE, it might change people’s minds. I had to watch it twice to fully understand.

It left me speechless and angry and I know, without a doubt, that many will feel the same way. We need to wake up and we need not realize what trauma we force on our kids. I am dealing with PTSD myself, caused by traumatic events when we became houseless and lost almost everything we had. We were adults and I wasn’t alone. Still, it traumatized me.

I cannot -and will not- even try to imagine what the sight of injured and killed children must do to a child -regardless of what we say. Certain events leave scars and many of them are deeper than we realize at first sight.

It’s like an iceberg, we see the top and think we have it all taken care of but the real problem so often stays hidden. Childhood damages, caused by abuse, neglect, death, addiction, and mental disorders often don’t come out before the child is older. We don’t talk when we are little, we keep it bottled up, later we deny it, and act like it never happened but over the years the memory weighs heavier on our shoulders until one day we have to open up. I lived it myself -step by step and I ‘only’ dealt with alcoholic parents.

Right this minute as I type this, politicians and NRA members are debating in our State Capitol about loosening the gun laws and restrictions, so all teachers can be armed. The guy from the Riffle Association was on TV, he seemed happy -every mass shooting means more business. Things could not go better for them and all the lobbyists.

I shook my head.

If I would be a teacher I would have to quit my job now. I don’t have it in me. While I understand that I could shoot and eventually kill an intruder threatening my husband, our dog, or a loved one, I also know I would hesitate. What if the shooter would be a child as well? Or a pregnant woman?

If everybody around me is armed, where does it leave me? Well, I suppose it leaves me exactly where I am standing right now. Unarmed, with an ordered sign in the mail that I don’t allow weapons in my workroom.

I give speeches in public buildings. If they ask me to be armed, I will politely decline and go my way.

I don’t want to be turned in a direction I don’t want to want to walk. Guns kill people. People who carry guns have to be willing to kill. I am not willing.

Now we are arming our teachers. I suppose later on, in a few years, after more shootings will have happened everywhere (please, let me be wrong on this one) we will see armed guards in movie theaters, hospitals, churches, theaters, BBQs, and perhaps even funerals. Maybe it will be the new normal -but only in this country and perhaps in some other countries in the Middle East where they can’t get it under control either.

I remember my childhood, I remember being a student in a boarding school in the South of Germany.

My biggest fear? The fear of being caught smoking and the thrill we felt when we read a teenage magazine we weren’t supposed to have. The excitement we when we managed to ‘escape’ the schoolyard during lunch break, the nervousness of wondering if we would get caught.

Nobody was out to harm us, the fear of detention or punishment, mostly in the form of extra homework or weed pulling in the garden, was all we knew.

How do parents deal with their children right now? What do they say? How do they make it all better? How do they keep their innocence intact? Is that even possible?

I don’t think armed teachers or showing them how to use colored pencils for defense is the answer.

The question goes much deeper, the answer has to go deep as well.

This commercial will stay with me! Will it stay with you too? Am I wrong?

20 thoughts on “A Speechless Thursday – School Essentials in the USA

  1. My children are grappling with the tension of knowing their children, my grandchildren, are vulnerable to school gun violence and it infuriates me when I hear the NRA and ineffective Senators (like Cruz) boast that they’ve come up with the answer to our fear–arm the teachers! I was a teacher. There’s not a chance in the world that this could end well. Are you going to give. a teacher a bazooka? Anyone intent on murdering students is just going to take the teacher down with their assault rifle. I don’t need to describe it to you, but it just makes me absolutely crazy. I automatically scan crowds these days, whether at a grocery store or other public building. It’s deplorable!

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  2. Hi, teacher here. I think a lot of what we’re hearing from politicians, etc are ways to distract from the real issue at hand: guns we don’t need to have at all in our society. I teach high school and my students and I talk about what our plan would be if a shooting were to happen. I honestly doubt we’d know what to do really. I can’t imagine teaching younger children and trying to reassure them that they are safe. I’m sure Texas politicians will try and use this as a reason to try to arm teachers, no doubt. But I definitely will not be a part of that madness. The blame game is still going strong and as per usual, nothing is changing. I’m sad for all of us. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I very much appreciate your comment. I guess sometimes I write a blog post because I need to know there are others out there that think (and feel) like I do.
      We lived in Texas for 10 years and when I watch from far away what’s going on right now, I am glad we left (not that Ohio is much better.) Here in OH part of our gun law will change in June 2022. To get a concealed carry license, applicants had to get a background check from their local sheriff’s department, complete 8 hours of training with 2 hours of live training and complete an exam that included an in-person physical demonstration of competency on handgun usage and rules for safe handling and storage of a handgun.

      When Ohio’s “Constitutional Carry” law goes into effect in a few weeks, that will no longer be the case. More than 2,600 applicants were denied permits last year, they all can get a gun now. 😦 And (and that I don’t understand at all), the law also eliminates the need for someone legally carrying a concealed weapon from having to ‘promptly notify’ an officer that they have the weapon to a police officer during a traffic stop, placing the requirement on the officer to ask first.

      Our law enforcement is nervous, they want to go home at night and see their families. They know they can be shot any day, anywhere, by anyone for no reason. Then, when they shoot to quickly, we criticize the officers *not the circumstances* This all goes over my head.

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      • Yes, thanks for your post. And yes, Texas is definitely not going in the direction we’d like at this point at all. Unfortunately, we can’t leave at this point but it’s in our future, hopefully.

        I’m sorry things are changing up there, too. They keep rolling back gun laws here as well. One can actually purchase a gun with no required training anymore. It’s insane. I honestly don’t understand it at all.

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  3. Such a sound commercial and post featuring it. You may not know I once ran a course on coping with violence for public servants. Obviously not involving guns here in England. I was pressed to include self defence techniques. I would not do so because the people taking these courses were carers and therefore not inclined to the aggression that would be required and only likely to get themselves into trouble. I had concentrated on defusing the situation. Eventually I relented and asked a martial arts expert to take a module. He declined for the same reason as me. I said he was exactly the person to join me for this. He was and he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even at the height of tensions following the Soweto riots here, teachers were not armed. I cannot imagine that arming teachers will solve anything – this is not going to the root of the issue. Your post is an excellent one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Anne. You are right, it doesn’t go to the root which is were the problem needs to be addressed. We are so sick and tired of these mass shootings we don’t even watch the news anymore.

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