Another tragedy today.
One of our deciding factors in bringing Dawson home from public school was his experience with bullying, and the fear associated with it. At the time he broke down and begged us to take him out of school, he was dealing with a bully who was already in ISS (In-School Suspension) for fighting who had sent out word that when he got out he was going to "hurt" Dawson. And for absolutely no reason.
It was during this grade (7th grade) that Dawson was trying to figure out who he was. He was finding that he was not a jock; he was not a band geek (a highly revered position in our high school); and he was not an honors student. He liked to ride his skateboard. He was a really good kid caught between the bad kids and the popular kids. He's always been friends with the unaccepted, and in middle school you don't to be one of those kids. He was so lost. He lost friends he had always had. His sister was told by one of the popular girls that Dawson was "weird".
I noticed in an interview with one of the students in the cafeteria during the shooting today, that he used to be friends with the shooter until after junior high. The shooter had "become" an outsider. Of course there are reports that he was an outcast, was searching for his identity, and was bullied. Classmates and teachers are shocked and said they never saw it coming, that he was a quiet and smart kid.
That could have been my son. We hear about kids who commit suicide because of bullying and unacceptance. We hear about kids who bring a gun to school because they get pushed to the end of their ropes.
I am just speculating. But do you think the shooter's parents ever called the school and asked them to PLEASE intervene in the bullying? Do you think that boy's mama shed tears over how kids felt about and treated her son and tried to get the school to stop those same kids who got shot today from being mean to her son? I don't know.
What's going on in the public school system right now is a tragedy. People ALL THE TIME ask me (rudely, usually) about whether I am concerned about Dawson's lack of socialization at school. My answer is usually, "Have you been in your public high school lately? It's a scary place!" There are very disturbed kids there. There are mean kids that think they are better than everyone else. And there are kids who feel like they are worthless. I am not interested in my son having the socialization at school that is available to him. No thank you.
I wonder how happy the shooter's parents and the victims' parents are that their kids were getting socialization at school today. I may not make every good decision for my kids, but this is one regret I will not have.