Yesterday as I checked the news and social media i was very saddened by the tragedy at Franklin Regional High School. Franklin was where my grandfather went, where my parents met, where my cousins kids will go someday. Sometimes you watch all these tragedies on television and think it could never happen to you. This instance was too close for comfort. What if this was ten years from now and my cousin's kids were at the school. What if my cousins were one of the kids. I have been to that HS, I know the area, I know the people who love there. Its my DNA, its my blood, and that area is where I spent my summer vacations as a kid. My grandma even drove the buses there.
So here is my thoughts.
I loved HS. I enjoyed it more than most people. It might of been because I was social, an athlete, and had a bunch o friends. It might of been because I liked everyone. I know for most people HS could of sucked. Between acne, puberty, social awkwardness, and the social competition of it all I know it could of been tough. Some kids were full grown in HS, some weren't. But the difference for me was in my school, we all generally cared for each other. We knew each other. Even the awkward,, quiet kids I knew. I think I did a good job of being respectful of all my fellow classmates. I wasn't perfect. I wasn't nice every second but I respected other people's feelings. I knew what it was to be different. I was always the fat funny kid. Thank god I played sports and was pretty decent. I was always the giant among my friends. My best friend growing up was always the small kid. We were a great combo of humor and I always stood up for him. But I never once feared any of my classmates. Maybe its because I grew up the 5th richest county in the country, maybe its because I grew up in a predominantly white collar middle class city. I don't know. But I know everybody knew everybody in my subdivision. Parents knew the kids. Kids knew the parents. In HS, we even had a peer mediation program that I helped in. Wasn't the coolest thing. It wasn't fun when I had to sit down with two kids I knew and help them deal with their problems before they escalated. But the program worked. it was kids helping kids talk it out.
So how does something like this event happen at Franklin Regional? How do parents not know whats going on with your kids? My wife and I talk to our kid every night. We can tell when he's down in the dumps or is happy. How do other kids not know what is going on with this kid. Why didn't the kid ask for help?
I always tell Tim, be nice to everyone, be respectful. You never know when one of those kids will be your boss, coworker, or even in a terrible situation like this be that kid. Every kid is different. Every kid is unique. But every kid doesn't need to feel left out. To all the kids; Be nice to everyone, be respectful, and even just say hi. You never know what a smile can do for somebody else.
Pay attention to your kids. Your most important job is to take care of your kid, talk to your kid and help them get through the cruel world that is HS. Your most important job isn't work, it's your kids. Talk to them. Care for them. Teach them. It is our sole purpose in life. We have been doing this for thousands of years. I don't understand how parents don't know what is going on with their kids. I understand every kid is different. If we as parents remind ourselves that our priority is our children, i don't think we would be seeing as many Columbine attacks.
Yesterday reminded me how fragile teenagers are. How innocent they are. Everyone of these attacks can solely be pointed to the parents being at fault. We are the guiding principle in their lives. REMEMBER THAT.
I pray for those families, my family and friends who live nearby Franklin Regional. That school is the sole purpose I am on this earth. It's a great school. A great area.