“The world breaks everyone…”
Another school shooting, this time in Ohio. Another teen died this morning, making two so far. We hear there was a football coach who chased the student/shooter out of the school, that he and another teacher had donned bullet proof vests they kept in a closet. And of course, the media is focused on the perpetrator, TJ Lane who is 17 years old and described as a “quiet” kid by some and an “outcast” by others. He attended an alternative school, for at-risk students. It was most likely a half day program – mornings at the regular school campus, afternoon bus to the vo-tech or alternative campus. Have we learned anything since Columbine?
Well, the book Columbine by Dave Cullen was surprisingly cogent and illuminating. It’s not about the stereotypes, outcasts, jocks vs goths or greasers and preps, depending on your decade. It’s about depression and pschopathology. It’s been reported that 6% of American teens suffer from clinical depression – that adds up to 2 million kids! Until we can revamp our educational system to serve ALL our young people, and not by shuttling the disconnected off to another campus, we will have to rely on teachers to buy bullet proof vests. Until we control how, where and who can buy guns, (sorry GOP) we will unfortunately continue on our wild west path.
My heart goes out to these families. And not just the victims, but to the Lane family as well. And now the President is being criticized for being “snobby,” for articulating what every single parent wants for their child – achieving a post HS degree. To survive high school with your confidence intact is a noble thing. The survivors in Ohio will have to fight to return to some kind of normal. We all navigated our way through adolescence in different ways. I was the song and dance girl, Bob was the brainiac, the Bride was brilliant and carried a big field hockey stick, and the Rocker? He was my music man who couldn’t care less about the hierarchy.
“…and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” Here is the rest of Hemingway’s prose that Clinton didn’t read: “But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” Thanks Ernest.