Horrific news of teenagers going on killing sprees at schools keep coming from across the US, adding to the myriad fears of parents regarding the safety of their children.
As strange as it may sound, most parents now feel wary of sending their kids to school, afraid of an incident that might bring harm to their children. But what is there to do?
One can’t keep a child at home forever out of the fear that some disturbed person starts to unleash horror on them.
Then what is the solution?
Banning guns? Hardly. We all watched on the news recently as another teenager recently went on a killing spree with common kitchen knives, injuring 20 people in the process.
Surely it isn’t possible to keep all the sharp tools away from the reach of people with criminal tendencies.
Is there a solution to this dilemma?
There is a solution but before proceeding with the solution, we have to look at the reasons behind these horrible crimes; the reasons that turn teenagers into cold-blooded murderers.
Bullying has been a long-standing problem that has plagued and hurt many people in their adolescent years; you have probably witnessed or suffered first-hand the pain of bullying, too. It is the painful sight of a child being picked up for his appearance, for his lack of social skills or any other feature that is not seen acceptable by his peers.
Children can be far more brutal in that way than adults as they don't fully comprehend the potential repercussions of their actions. Indeed, a recent study shows that the effects of bullying can linger for another 40 years after the actual incident, still hurting the individual even through later stages in his life.
So when a child is bullied sometimes it becomes too much to handle, and without proper moral and educational background, some choose a violent answer to their predicament, to get revenge in the worst way possible.
This is where the healing should start. A child that is nurtured with love and taught the importance of loving and respecting his fellow servants of God will know better than to tease another child for features he thinks may not be up to par. A child that learns about how everyone has differences, and how those differences should be respected and cherished will not want to go on and mock another child just because he is from a different ethnic background or because he is too short or too tall. A child that understands that every human being is a valuable soul that deserves respect, love and understanding will no longer be able to hurt another person just for the fun of it or for the sake of being popular.
Parents, teachers, schools and most importantly the school administrators can play a great part to ensure this understanding is embedded in the minds of children.
A special course added to the curriculum will help introduce and spread a culture of love at schools and expose the horrible face of bullying and the consequences of those actions. This education, starting in elementary school, will not only help eliminate bullying in schools, but also other forms of it, such as discrimination, which is another but more sinister form of bullying that tends to appear in later stages of life as those children turn into adults.
Teachers in schools should take it upon themselves to infuse this understanding of love and respect for every human being into the minds of children and they should never turn a blind eye when they encounter a case of bullying.
Needless to say, the parents will play the greatest part, by both demonstrating proper manners with their behavior and explaining how to respect and help other people regardless of differences.
This solution targeting the root of the problem will help remove the painful problem of bullying in the beginning before it escalates to horrible scenes of violence.
Surely the sale of firearms in public places where anyone can easily get them is a major issue that calls for proper consideration; but focusing on only this aspect of the matter would be ignoring the elephant in the room. It is obvious to anyone that eliminating the tools to carry out a crime would only be a superficial solution as long as the underlying motive behind the crime is still present; after all, the Columbine Massacre of 1999 was intended to be a bombing, and had it succeeded, the casualties would have been infinitely more horrific than what we saw. The motivation behind that grim event was all too clear to see – two deeply disturbed young men driven to murderous rage by bullying, who decided to extract their vengeance in the most appalling manner possible.
Therefore everyone should see that it is high time for the governments, schools and parents to take action to educate both themselves and their children so that there can be a mass improvement as a society that knows how to love and respect their fellow human beings.
Adnan Oktar's piece on News + Rescue: