A school is not a building. A school is not a classroom. A school is not doors and windows. It cannot be. If it were only these things, there would be nothing to be sad about today. Make no mistake, a school is people. A community. A family. Leaving a school open and unprotected is like lining up your family members and watching them be executed one by one. Having little to no safety precautions in place is akin to inviting a burglar into your home while you sleep. Providing no means by which people can go about their day of learning and teaching without the worry of being gunned down when it is harder to get into a concert than it is to get into a school, is absolutely unacceptable. Yet, we continue to pray and to have our thoughts be with the victims and we say that we must do better.
We know what to do. We have always known. The question is not about knowing, it is about caring. Do we care enough? Do we place enough value on these people to actually protect them? If not, then tear the buildings down. I would rather children be taught from home than be put in harm’s way for one more day. At least they would be with their families. At least they would be with someone who cares whether they lived or died. Value goes where the money is. That is a fact. Care is given when something makes money. Think about that the next time you walk into a school building and see the conditions. See the lack of support. Of resources for mental health. Of services for the marginalized populations of students with specific learning needs.
Then, contact your principals, your school boards, your district superintendents, your state departments of education and justice, and your Senators. Blog about it, post on your social media, write letters and have conversations with people in your neighborhoods, the local law enforcement, and the hospitals. Make noise. Get mad. You should be. This is about money. This is not about anything else. This is not about our children. It should be. But people are not important unless they make somebody rich. Schools do not do that. So, nobody cares enough to do something. We can change that.