Do you remember those days when you could walk in through your school doors without having to fear for your life? Remember when your greatest fears in a school day were tripping over your own feet or running headfirst into a locker in front of your crush?
Not once while receiving my primary education did I worry that a peer would pull out a gun from their Looney Tunes backpack and inflict harm upon others.
I know that sounds dramatic and exaggerated, but it’s closer to the truth than you think. I had “lockdown” drills in high schools; now my 9-year-old cousin undergoes those same drills in elementary school.
There is a serious cause for concern regarding the amount of violence young children are exposed to. It’s not just television, video games, movies or music; Violence is real and it’s all around them. Even if you haven’t watched the news, you have at least heard about the recent shooting at L.A.’s Gardena High School. Violence in schools is something that’s only going to get worse, that is, if we do nothing.
It’s not just high schools and colleges that are threatened by tortured, damaged and confused students; there have been numerous cases reported at elementary schools. A few years ago, an 8-year-old in Maryland threatened to burn down his school and even plotted where he’d pour the gasoline. Another case in Philadelphia, a kindergartner intentionally punched a pregnant teacher in the stomach. It’s almost difficult to believe but this is real. This is happening now as I write and as you read.
We think, myself included, that this ‘stuff’ that we hear on the news is not important to us. We believe that it’s not relevant to our daily lives and that it can’t get near us. But we are sorely mistaken. Violence in schools is a reality that we have to face or it’s going to bite us in the butt in the future.
What can we, as believers struggling to do what is right for Jesus, do to help prevent these steadily increasing cases of violence?
Proverbs 13:2 states, “The unfaithful have a craving for violence.” Another word for “unfaithful” is “untrue.” This word refers not only to those who are wicked, but also to those who do not know the truth, those who do not know the truth about Jesus!
The Lord commands us, His children, in Mark 16:15, “…Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” If every single human being on the planet knew and accepted the truth, there would be no need for those “lockdown” drills in elementary schools. There would be no need for pat-downs upon entering school doors. As His children, we have a duty to spread the truth to all.
Something else we can and are able to do to combat school violence is to show God’s love. It’s as simple as that. You’ve all heard that saying that “Love can move mountains.” Well, God’s love has the power to do just that.
Many of these young people who commit these acts of violence are just confused and lost individuals who, in most cases, feel unloved.
So talk to your younger siblings, relatives, or the kids you babysit. Teach them about the truth and show them the love of God. You probably won’t be able to move a mountain, but God can.