There are several points of interest that come to mind under my subject heading “You Had One Job!” This statement is obviously in reference to the Florida school shooting. These points include the performance, or lack thereof, of the specific School Resource Officer (SRO) is what they call the armed law enforcement officer, assigned to schools in Florida. But there are also the following points,
- arming teachers,
- compensation and insurance
- “what would YOU do”
- And “what would I do”…question.
The nations students have spoken. Without question, the opinions of the students, particularly those present at the Florida school shooting, and directly impacted by any of the shootings that have plagued schools over the last decade.
But actually, not really. I would be mindful of their feelings and opinions. But, as an adult, I know that it is my job, as an adult and parent, to make the mature decisions regarding safety and security. And all this decision making should be absent the noxious usual and unnecessary political partisan crap that is particularly alive and well in Washington and across this divided country.
So, having said all the politically correct and socially acceptable things, here I go into the deep water! (pausing for a moment of ‘Box Breathing!’)
Without knowing all the facts, and I always give consideration to the facts, and knowing that I was not personally there at the shooting scene, I believe the SRO in this case, has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, serious shame to face, and perhaps some civil/legal issues as well. Again, he had one job at the time of the shooting. We are further learning that with all the information coming in concerning the shooters history, that officer, or former officer (he has fittingly resigned) may have, should have, had access to that history. And having such information, he should have been pushing for both the school and the law enforcement community to closely monitor this young killer. Further, he should have made certain that if this killer came to the campus, at any time, he would be notified so that he can insure that this killer is not allowed on the campus. And further still, insure that the killer cannot do what…well, he ended up doing!
There is a video! In the reported video, the SRO is evidently seen (fact check: I have not personally seen this video) outside the school, taking a position of cover, and waiting for a period of time before taking any other form of action. During that time, it is believed that the suspect was able to continue his attack. He continued killing students and faculty inside the school. This is B.S. and completely unacceptable. Sheriff Israel, the local Sheriff, has stated that the SRO should have immediately gone inside, sought out the shooter, and killed him. For many this may have a bad sound to ears not experienced in the harsh realities in this often war torn, terrorist besieged world of today. But I have to tell you, I agree totally.
My wife asked me what I would have done in the same circumstance. I said without hesitation, I would have gone inside, found the shooter and killed him. She modified the question to, what if we (her and my daughter), were outside, would I have left them and gone after the shooter. My answer was again the same, yes I would. He is killing children. I am armed and morally, ethically, and spiritually bound to end that threat to those innocent children. She agreed. Whew, I passed the wife test!
I do not know what was in the heart and mind of the SRO. But I also at this point cannot imagine anything that he could say to change my opinion of his lack of action. It is true that in the past law enforcement officers were always advised to seek support by requesting “assistance” or “help” when faced with a high threat or unknown danger of the type the SRO was facing. But that was the old days, before the rude and tragic lesson that Columbine was for us all. We now know, he knew, that in the face of the current trend of mass shooters, terrorist and persons that would bomb innocent people, given the chance, you simply do not have the luxury of waiting for your buddies to show up.
That was his job, he had one job! He failed at his one job!
In a previous post I mention the issue of an armed teacher at the point of threat at the scene. I believe the armed teachers presence might have made a significant positive impact on what was occurring. I hold to that opinion.
I am in favor of teachers teaching. That is their job. And that, teaching, is a job that is difficult enough without any other forms of requirements, such as being an armed protector. I get it, when people say armed teachers are not doing their primary job. That is correct in a literal sense. But we have to (we should?) consider the realities of this day and age.
Look at today’s cops. Cops are not therapists, and yet they end up being tasked with acting as one. And they are most often criticized and graded on their performance, when they do not fair very well. Cops are not social workers or marriage counselors. This should be obvious by the rate of divorce in their profession. But daily they are tasked with acting as a marriage counselor at domestic calls. These domestic calls end up being the most dangerous of calls that officers must face each day. More officers have been killed or injured in these types of calls, sometimes before even entering the call location when they are ambushed.
This is not a perfect world. We must be flexible and understand our preconceived ideas about what is right, and wrong, what is normal and abnormal, what should and should not be true. There are countless examples of this. I would prefer that first, teachers get paid much much more. And second that they be given all, not some, all the materials and resources they need to prepare our children for the next level of education and life. And third, that teachers be left alone to teach, just teach! But that is, in this day and age, idealistic. We have to wake up and face the empty coffee! Just as some objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear, some realities of this life may not be so absolute as we would want them to be. Be prepared, adjust! And while you teachers are doing that, the others of us should, and can, get to work fixing the route problems.
Now, if we must arm teachers out of necessity, it should be done correctly. No one should possess a gun that is not well vetted, well trained, and given all the necessary materials to make the possession and carrying safe. An obvious problem with this idea is that to be well trained, it takes time and money. Teachers do not have spare time and do not make enough money. They are already doing a tough and demanding job. So someone must account for that. How? That is something for adult discussion and consideration. I personally do not want anyone carrying a gun, and being around children, without excellent and constant training.
As for specifically having armed teachers, yes, I would prefer to have someone, officially equipped and designated to be such, armed and prepared to protect the children should the need arise. I don’t want to force a teacher that does not want a gun, to have a gun. But I would bet you that the teacher that does not want a gun, will seek the cover, of the teacher that does. That is just basic survival instinct.
Having said all that, the Florida situation is one in which there was an armed person. Someone what was trained and designated. and believed to be prepared and committed to use those factors in protecting our children…and failed to do so. So, there is, unfortunately, that! Tough decisions, in high threat, high intensity situations, separate the sheep, from the sheep dogs.
The route problem. I see the route problem as being in the homes of America. I see it in the absence of good fathers and mothers, or at least, not enough of them. Further, I see that, families are the main and most important element in making good citizens and people. This goes even beyond the hot button that is American’s Constitutional gun story-line that consumes the daily news and Washington D.C. Good parenting virtually always produces good children. Good children demonstrate good judgement and conduct.
Is this a perfect and absolute fact? No, of course not. But it is closer to the truth than not. So much in this country is changing, and changing at a pace that has outpaced our maturation as a species. We have fast food in place of a sit down family breakfast and/or dinner hour gathering. We have replaced human to human communication with texting on devices to another device. We have replaced human personal interaction and care with cyber relationships. We are losing the human part of humanity.
So, concluding this story-line, school shooting, bad, guns in schools, not good, but better than the alternative…dead children. Armed teachers, not great, but infinitely better and preferred over waiting for the police to show up after the injured and dead have been had. The system working, good, the system not working, bad. The current grade of the system…FAILING! The state of American pubic opinion…in a state of delusion and stuck in universe far, far away from reality.
This is not about gun love. It is about love of our children, family, America, and ending the civil war that currently exists.