Friday, June 09, 2006

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Kids 'n guns at school

Sometimes, I seriously think the world has gone completely mad.

For example, a 14-year-old student in London was charged this week after he brought a gun to school and gave it to another student.

Some days, I find it tough to pick the topic for my next column. To make it as a column, the basic topic has to be, well, topical. I often say it has to snap, to jump out of the mass of messaging and stick in your brain. It has to matter.

As soon as I saw this news story, I knew I had my column.

Gun in school demands answers
Published Friday, June 9, 2006
The London Free Press

Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic are no longer the only things on the curriculum at London’s Cleardale public school. Now, students there are apparently learning about guns, too.

We learned this week that a 14-year-old has been charged after stealing a pistol. The allegation is that the youth brought it to school and gave it to another student.

London isn’t midtown Detroit. Our schools don’t have metal detectors and security guards. Students aren’t frisked on their way into class. Not yet, anyway.

Despite our perception of relative safety, parents who leave their children at the front door of their school in the morning trust that their teachers and related staff will not only educate and enlighten them, but keep them safe.

That didn’t happen at Cleardale this week.

I can’t imagine parents and students feeling at ease until they get some answers. They have every right to ask the Thames Valley District school board how it intends to keep guns away from kids.

Come to think of it, parents in any school deserve similar reassurance.


Your turn: It seems almost surreal to repeat the phrase: Kids and guns in school. If you're a parent, how do you feel when you hear this? If you're a teacher, how do you respond?


barbie2be said...

one of my roommates is a high school teacher at a not so great school. i worry about her every day.

and then there is my best friend's son. he is about to be 7 and going into the first grade. he is on the small side stature wise and i worry about bigger kids picking on him, in addition to worrying about kids showing up at schools with guns and knives and other weapons. it's such a scary thought to know that our kids are away from our protection for those 8-10 hours a day. i don't know if i could do it.

barbie2be said...

doh! forgot to say that michele sent me tonight.

keda said...

i knew i'd be back today! terrifying. nail bitingly, neurosis triggeringly horrendous.
as barbie said, i am even frightened of bullying so this is just awful. its also one of the reasons i am put off ever moving to the states. sadly. i am frightened of the bullying in english schools too. so although it is very expensive here for schools, and none of them are brilliant, i at least feel that as i am paying for private schooling (there's no other choice) i can expect decent standards.
until earthquake strikes at least...

terrifying. having kids is frankly a pain in the heart.

colleen said...

My son once got suspended for bringing a red squirgun to school...some sort of law. I hope the US isn't corrupting you all. I'm remembering Bowling for Columbine here.

Shy said...

The thought scares me (i'm looking for a teaching job). I grew up with guns--I don't even know how many my dad has. My sisters and I respected those guns and never once touched them without permission--they weren't hidden--we knew where they were but we knew dad would take us out if we just asked him to, so it wasn't a big deal.

So i guess what scares me is the lack of education surrounding guns. I think that if kids were aware of how serious the situation was (like my sisters and I), there would be far fewer accidents. Maybe it would be smarter to tell your children that you do own a gun rather than having them find it in the closet.
Those incidents involving kids actively harming each other on the other hand—I don’t think much can stop them.