Mass Shootings: Please, don’t scare the children.

Note: This is not a political statement either for or against guns, just something worth noting if you teach children.

Most of my students are either young and blissfully unaware of the shooting that ocurred last week, or they are slightly older and are discussing it with their friends. I had one student who was very concerned about the shooting the day after, but particularly by a statistic the kids at school were talking about: that there have been 18 mass shootings this year (or some say 18 school shootings this year).

While it is true that there have been 18 incidents of a gun being discharged on school campuses, they are not mass shootings or what we tend to refer to as a “school shooting”. This particular statistic includes things like:

  •   A man parking in the school’s parking lot and killing himself.
  • Accidental discharge of a gun at a military high school.
  • Accidental discharge of a police officer’s gun
  • A teenager committing suicide in the bathroom
  • A personal dispute being continued at a football game after school.
  • USA Today has an article listing all events.

Yes, these things are horrible! I wish they didn’t happen! (Notice I’m not proclaiming a solution or attempting to explain why they happen).

It is important that we, as teachers, are honest with our students and do not hype them up or cause fear. They look to us, one of the few adults in their lives they probably trust, for guidance and reaction. If we behave as though we are terrified, the kids will be even more so. They are already upset by what they hear on the news and from their friends, and I believe that we have a duty to reassure them that they are safe. The likelihood of a student being involved in a situation like the one in Parkland is very low. A student is more likely to be struck by lightning or hit by a car.

Whatever your view politically, please, try not to scare the children.

About Lady Fair

Lady is a musician with a bachelor's degree in music education. She plays multiple instruments and has participated in numerous musical ensembles, giving her a wide variety of experiences and knowledge to use in her teaching career. Of her ensemble participation, she has fifteen years of band experience, nine years choral, and four years in orchestra. Éowyn's primary instrument is clarinet, with voice and piano being close secondary instruments. Throughout her musical education career she studied voice and clarinet simultaneously. In addition to clarinet, piano, and voice, she has also studied violin and oboe at the college level, and also plays recorder, tin whistle, and other instruments in the woodwind family. If you ask her, she will say, "I chose to major in music education because I have a desire to use my knowledge and experience in music to share its beauty and foster a love of music in the hearts of my students. I hope to encourage my students to try their hardest, feel like they have accomplished something, and give them a life long passion for music." Lady currently teaches private lessons on clarinet, sax, flute, oboe, piano, and voice, and recently gained a position teaching orchestra and chorus at a local middle school. She is also a member of the Once Upon a Dream woodwind ensembles.
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