Saturday, January 20, 2007

Disturbing

It was with shock and horror that I read this front page story from today's Boston Globe. It was a reminder that schools - for better or worse - are a microcosm of society.

Despite the best efforts of teachers and administrators to provide safe learning environments for students, tragedy can still strike. According to the Globe article, a 16-year-old sophomore stabbed and killed a 15-year-old freshman after an argument broke out in a boy's bathroom.

The article goes on to paint the defendant as a psychologically troubled, "sketchy" young man who wore a trench coat and was on multiple medications.

I know that students at the school where I teach were legitimately concerned for their safety after we received a bomb threat at the beginning of the year. However, three additional bomb threats later and it's amazing how desensitized some of us have become to this legitimate threat of violence.

Reading this article made me think about how fragile life really is, and how one single action can affect thousands. I would hope that I am the type of teacher whom students feel comfortable talking to if they're feeling stressed and pressured and need to vent.

I know my school has a great group of adults who genuinely care and are readily available to lend an ear to students in need. It's sometimes easy to get caught up in the pressures and expectations of the day-to-day and forget about the big picture.

No school staff or student body should have to suffer the plight of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.

1 comment:

Vicki A. Davis said...

Such tragedies are terrible and everyone looks for easy answers and someone to blame. Putting away a troubled teen often does not get at the other teenagers that often berate such a child. Often, I have found that children like this have been picked on and it puts them over the edge. I am a lucky one because I only had four years of "picking" or "bullying" but to imagine that it would never end is more than a child should bear.

So, it is terrible and awful. It is important to remember that we as teachers are to be sensitive to the child who is left out and to make extra steps to spend time with, encourage, and find something good that they can do.

I'm not saying that would have helped in this case because I don't know all the details. We are a society of increasing connections with kids that are increasingly disconnected from one another.