Across America, parents, teachers and students are confronting the issue of safety and security after last Friday’s deadly massacre at a grade school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Sometimes it’s just too easy to say, “we’re so glad our child is homeschooled.”
But homeschool is not a universal answer – or even an option – for everyone. Homeschooling is not something done impulsively, as a way to keep your child safe.
In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook school, there are many concerns and many more questions.
Those of us who homeschool have issues to confront as well. Kids can have big questions. Terror and fear. And wanting to know, just like everyone does, “why did this happen?”
Schools already have many policies and measures in place to ward off crime. Most homes do not have surveillance cameras, one-way locks, armed officers, bullet-proof glass, metal detectors, and motion sensors. How will your child trust that your home is safe?
This hits the larger arena of community and public buildings. Questions about safety, security, gun control, and even mental illness arise…
What would prevent someone from opening fire at a city library, skating rink, holiday parade, or community festivity?
Our sorrow and outrage may be used to achieve long-term national policy goals. The shooting can be used as an excuse for new and improved laws “for the sake of the children.”
It’s important that parents address the concerns of their children. Even if we don’t have answers to those questions. Or the bigger ones, like: media coverage (cover-up), America’s culture of violence, moral decline, and the Godlessness of society.
Sadly, whenever tragedies like these occur it’s in our nature to try and find a simple and easy answer when there is none.
We like to reduce things to black and white, ‘it’s a gun control problem’, ‘it’s a mental health problem’, ‘it’s the violent movies and video games’, ‘if someone had just noticed his behavior and warned people’.
We will pass new laws, assuage ourselves that will solve the problem, give ourselves that false sense of security, until the next time it occurs and we start all over again.
Have you talked with your children about this? How did you explain it?
Helpful links to help you with your questions:
A piece for parents from Aviva Romm – Sheltering, Protecting, and Talking With Our Children: Parenting for Sanity in a Seemingly Insane World
Homeschooling For Safety by Barbara Frank
Feel free to share in the comments how you are doing and how you talked with your kids.