On July 30, I was interviewed by Bob Branco & Peter Alcohol for the In Perspective podcast. We discussed bullying, mask wearing, and several other issues with safety in schools. Here is the link https://www.brancoevents.com/in-perspective-216-robert-sollars-talks-about-safety-in-school/
Two young lovers, one 18 and his transgender girlfriend, 17, quietly sneak out of class and meet up. Stealthily, they move to lock the emergency doors, which they hope will lead to the panic and chaos they hope to cause. As the class bell sounds to end class and everyone move to their next, they begin walking down the hall and opening up with the firearms they stole from their parents and friends of parents. The ammunition coming at a furious pace from the .9mm and AR-15.
The crackling sounds of gunfire stop the students cold as their minds race to catch up to reality. “This can’t happen here, it’s always so quiet”, “I can’t believe someone would come in here to kill us”, “Oh my God, that is gunfire, I’ve got to hide so I don’t get shot!”. The voices in their heads getting higher pitched and more strident with every passing nano-second.
The pair of young lovers move down the hall together shooting at anyone and anything that moves, whether it’s been shot already or not. They are destined to die together, having listened to the 70s tune and misinterpreting “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. They scream to each other as their faces delight in the carnage and screaming of their classmates, “I love you, David!” “And I love you, Evan!”, smiles wide on their faces as they see the first resource officers come around the corner with their firearms drawn.
“Time for the reaper!” Evan screams as he rushes towards the officer firing the clip in the .9mm. David rushes off after him with AR-15 firing cover fire all around him. A bullet finds Evan’s torso and head and he crumples to the floor blood pooling everywhere.
David looks in shock as his lover is shot like a “rabid dog” by the SRO and in a rage, he runs even faster towards the officer firing on fully automatic, which he had gotten the plans off the dark web for. Another SRO comes from another corner and is unseen because of the rage. The bullet enters his left eye and he falls to the floor .556 still being spewed.
What could have caused this massacre by a couple of teenagers? That question will be argued for weeks and months around the town and high school. But it all comes down to the fact that warning signs were ignored by students, administration, parents, school counselors, and everyone in-between.
Blood splatter and removing the carpet is easy. Restoring sanity of students and parents will not be so easy. What are the parents told when they appear at the school or hospital? Knowing that someone may have to inform them that their child is dead … it is not a task I would wish on anyone.
It’s an unfortunate scenario that most of us will never have to face. But it’s still just as frightening for everyone to think about even if the chances are remote for such an incident. We train, read, organize, plan and meet with administrators, encourage good security habits amongst the staff. And still it happens.
While a shooting of this magnitude is, for the most part, fiction, it does happen. But, remember that violence isn’t just limited to physical assaults, which include fist fights, it also includes harassment of all types, and verbal assaults … which can be as harmful as physical violence.
Junior Achievement, in conjunction with Deloitte and Touché, released a survey several years ago, with some startling statistics. It stated the 39% of 13- to 18-year-olds believe that lying, stealing and cheating were acceptable ways of getting ahead in life. Worse yet? 23% said that some level of violence against someone else is also acceptable for any reason.
Even the naivest parent, teacher, and administrator should have seen the warning signs in the scenario above before it occurred. I would wager, those signs will be denied, openly, until it happens. I will definitively tell you…the signs are always there.
Does this mean that every kid who acts weird and unique is a candidate for a Columbine style attack? No, of course not. Some kids are just in the process of discovering themselves and need a little latitude. Latitude yes, alone time and being a loner? Maybe, but it has to be monitored with all of the other signs.
(Watch for the other posts in this series to be posted in the next couple of weeks)
It can happen to Anyone…Any Time…Any Where… For any Reason
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.
Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars