Over the course of mingling amongst my peers while in public education, I have become absolutely convinced that we have become desensitized to many issues that should under normal circumstances would be matters of concern.
Take for example, about two years ago: 2 April 2005. Pope John Paul II – one of the most revered pontiffs to have existed – had just passed away. Of course, many were saddened, even those that weren’t Catholic. However, a couple of students in my AP World History class (of which one would think the students would have learned some “cultural acceptance”) were making “pope jokes”. Many of us were upset about this. Yet these paltry individuals had the effrontry to play down a subject others took seriously. In the place of one in the “took this subject seriously”, I have to say, I was quite offended. Even if one were not to have much interest in the subject, one should not make comments that could offend others on sensitive subjects, especially about death.
In the past few years, my school has been on the news multiple times. Freshman year: Stabbing. Sophomore Year: Fight puts student in the hospital. Junior Year: I stopped caring – it became redundant.
Fast-forward to the present. A student reportedly left a cryptic, threatening message in the boys’ restroom. According to an associate of mine, part of it read: “Blood will rain in the halls on 3/8/07”. Investigations were pulled by the local liason officers and determined it a prank. Prior to this being labeled as a prank however, students were playing it down as if it were some hilarious, comedic monologue or something. Now, not saying that one should be supremely worried since it was in the end a hoax, but have we begun so desensitized to homicide and death that we begin to treat it as a huge hoax? I quote: “If someone does shoot tomorrow, I hope I get shot in the shoulder. That way, I get to live and say ‘Hey, that was pretty cool.'” When that person actually gets shot, I doubt that “Hey, that was pretty cool” will be the first thing to occur in his mind.
I also wonder, what causes these people to make such threats – empty or not. Does the prospect of taking lives excite these people? Or does it seem to be the effect that everyone will become fearful? If that is the case, these people don’t do a very good job, as seen by those masochists in the last paragraph. In retrospect, it may do us some good to not be fearful of every potential “terrorist” attack.
Perhaps these people believe that by striking fear into others, they gain fame and recognition. Doesn’t happen if people don’t know who it is. They should also take notice, no matter how large a school is, there’s still not a large proportion of the world that could even give a hoot about whether you threatened a school or not. Would the world’s leaders care if 3,200 students in a high school in the United States was threatened by one fatuous CHILD that believes that by attempting or threatening to kill his peers will mean he accomplished something? Somehow – despite the leaders emphasizing how they are representing the people – I doubt it.
But know this. If it turns out there’s any truth to this threat, I WILL live. I REFUSE to die before this comes out.