I like to keep things light and positive as much as possible and not engage in political talk. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and conversations can turn ugly very quickly. I feel the need to share a thought on gun violence in schools because it is a reoccurring issue in America. I am not getting into the nitty gritty of my feelings about guns because it is irrelevant to my thoughts I want to share.
I find myself walking school halls every day, engulfed in innocent children’s lives, and sick to my stomach at all the evil that can happen. I currently work in an elementary school with 2nd and 3rd graders. As I walked into a classroom to speak with a student, I couldn’t help but feel emotional as to what I saw. My eyes felt wet as a tear rolled down my cheek. The classroom was filled with twenty eight-year-old students huddling in a corner with their heads down. This class was practicing a Lock Down drill. This is something that is being practiced in all schools across America in preparation of an active shooter in the building. I was overcome with sadness because it breaks my heart witnessing the reality of the world we live in. The loss of innocence that these children have to face because of the hatred and violent acts of others. My mind went to my 2-year-old daughter, knowing she will be practicing these drills when she goes to school in a couple of years. As a school counselor, I wonder what goes through these young minds. Do they understand at such a young age why we need to practice this? Are they scared? Are they numb to violence relating it to a violent movie or video game? I remember when I was in school we just had fire drills. I don’t remember having to worry about people coming in with weapons.
Understanding and breathing the reality we are facing, made me focus my thoughts on the military. I strongly feel armed veterans should be hired to protect our schools. These men and women are highly trained individuals who can protect our students and staff. The unemployment rate for veterans is upsetting and unacceptable. While it has slightly declined in the past few years, it is still high at 4.3% Many who are able to obtain a job are working at much lower levels and are way over qualified. These men and women deserve a quality job that suits their training. A job they can be proud of.
There are thousands of veterans who come home from serving our country and fighting for our freedom and cannot find work. While working in a school, I would feel extremely safe knowing a trained veteran is protecting us. It might even deter someone from bringing a weapon to school. I respect others views on this matter. Obviously there would be many details to work out and it might not completely solve the problem. However, it is a layer of security that we could add within the schools until the root of the issues pertaining to violence within schools are remedied. My views are my own and in the end we need to work together to find a solution and keep our children, our future safe.