Palmes-Dennis: High school tragedy

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last Wednesday was another sad day not only for the families of the victims but throughout the US.

The shooting left 17 dead and numerous victims with serious injuries at the hospital as of this writing.

And it makes us all caring citizens of this great country and maybe all over the world thinking what to do or what could have been done to prevent these horrific and devastating crimes.

If we listen to the American media, its contributors and opinion makers are all more inclined to political opinions.

It is a debate between the dominant political parties and there is no solution in sight to solve this never ending problem of violence or killing which is now making the schools as easy target to test fire-arms, political ideology or even revenge to society or specific person or persons.

Yes the shooting happened in the US but it could happen anywhere else in the world including the Philippines if people won’t learn from what happened in the US.

This is a serious situation that all Americans must think about because if this keeps on happening then the government would be rendered inutile, schools will be closed and kids will be home schooled.

And it is not a distant possibility since a lot of people now find it scary to send children to school since it is being turned into a firing range.

There’s a lot of discussion about this tragedy in all platforms every day and most are inclined towards political opinion. This one issue should be beyond the ambit of politics as this touches the very fabric of society.

Responses were mixed but there is no denying that the high school shooting tore many hearts even those whose hearts are tough in situations like this.

Rowena Schmidt who lives in Cornelius, NC said that when she watched the news on TV “I was crying at that time and feeling sorry of those mothers who’ve lost their children.”

Schmidt, a mother of two grown-up sons continued by saying she would die if one of those kids were her own.

My husband Ronnie was teary-eyed when he watched the report of the incident on TV. He said when he was in school in the 50s and 60s “we didn’t have shooting or violence and yes we have guns. Why is it now more frequent?”

Ronnie went to say that it has to do with discipline in school; we don’t have discipline anymore in American schools.

He said peers at school or in the community won’t guide kids anymore. Instead, the peers would bully other people who would later become killers due to a deep-seated thirst for revenge.

A friend of mine Dr. Louie Anquillo posted something at Facebook that received reactions from other Fil-Americans residents here at Charlotte.

The post read: “As you pick and choose which one is the problem-guns, mental health, faith, society, discipline, and deny then as a problem. We are all part of them. “ Anquillo then posted the emoticon of “concerned” and asked the question “So what have you done to help?

It was a question aimed to all caring and loving citizens in order to spur them to act and care. A question to the community that appears content to stand on the sidelines and watch as the next high school shooting unfolds.

Anquillo’s post received numerous feedbacks. Rogelio Lawsin, a father of three kids, lamented on the lack of common sense in handling the situation. Sain Diaz said the greater tragedy would be if people get numbed on the violence because of the frequency of its occurrence and the seeming inaction of government and the community in preventing these senseless deaths.

On her part Dimple Matias Maturan thought along the same lines as Louie Anquillo by asking ”What I have done? What can I do?” She answered “I don’t know if what I am doing is enough.”

Most people especially the politicians and their minions continue to blame gun laws while others blame inadequate discipline in schools while some blame government for not addressing the psychological well being of students through the school system.

A friend who requested anonymity blames the US public school systems for its complete neglect on the psychological welfare of its students. Those who blame the school system say it’s high time this is addressed in order to shape their character and attitude towards others.

This friend of mine said the government through the school system should hire additional social workers and psychologists and integrate them into the school system.

If we want these alarming statistics to decrease, this nation needs to re-adjust their educational system and incorporate psychological care.
We have been taught that family is the basic social unit. It is the family that holds everything. Does the family as a basic social unit still exist in the US community?

A family where there is a father, mother and children and there is no absence of the parents because they are busy working. Or in the absence of parents then the government should be true to its role as parens patria.

Ronnie Dennis said something that during his time they don’t have single parent families like they do now. “A lot of parents these days got to work and kids are left on their own and left to do what they on their own.”

It is a long discussion and maybe you have different opinions given your own background. But Louie Anquillo’s question remains: Are you going to wait until the violence hits home?
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