The day after the latest mass, school shooting, I wrote this prompt on my classroom whiteboard. we start every class with a prompt and students are familiar with the routine of reading it, thinking, then sharing. On this day, I expected responses similar to my own feelings – sad, heartbroken, angry, disgusted, etc. Instead, students shared they were having a good day, they were happy, they were excited for . . ., all responses with no connection to the events of the previous day.
I was in shock and a bit angry. How could such a horrific event have had such little impact on them? How could they not feel something about what happened? How could that tragedy already be dismissed? I was not OK and they seemed oblivious or unscathed. I was grateful they were not hurting, but so confused. Have our youth become so accustomed to these events that they no longer shock them? Or, have our youth become resigned to accept these events as part of our culture? Or, was the response to my prompt just a way to protect themselves by not showing vulnerability and emotion? I am concerned but I am not ready to lose hope.
Please know I am here and I am not resigned to accept this as part of our culture! If ever you want to reach out, please do. Let’s start a conversation.