Wednesday, March 7, 2018

School Shootings: What Can You Do?

There have been many suggestions offered in the last few days about how to stop school shootings. Some make sense, some are just plain stupid. The fact remains that since 1990 our government schools are federally-mandated gun-free zones, perfect for maniacal shooters.

When considering this problem, most people's focus seems to be on getting "them" to "do something" about it. But waiting on "them" could take years for a helpful solution. What about you? What can you do about school shootings? 

Here are some ideas for parents, grandparents, kids, people without children and bystanders.

Parents: Homeschool your children. This is the ideal for every family. In the beginning, God created a father and a mother and children. There were no school teachers, social workers, coaches, or pastors involved. God gave parents the job.

We can see the fallout today from ignoring God's design – herding children together in schools (even "good" schools) is simply pooling ignorance. "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools will come to harm." (Proverbs 13:20) All kinds of harm happens, from simple foolishness to cheating, bullying, abuse, sexual misconduct, and yes – school shootings.

There are many people in today's society who will try to convince you that homeschooling is second class or even impossible for your family. But God is smarter than they are, and He is the one who created the family. Statistics show us that God's design really does work best. Homeschoolers consistently out-perform institutionally schooled children in literally every area of life from academics to civic responsibility to finding satisfaction in life.

Many entities exist to help beginning homeschoolers if you feel you need guidance. There are websites with free curriculum, blogs with helpful suggestions, videos, tutorials, co-ops, support groups, conventions, and more. If you're not sure where to start, the website is a good way to get connected with organizations in your state.

Grandparents: Be involved in your grandchildren's lives. Work with their parents to find ways to spend quality time with them. It's easy to give kids ice cream or take them fun places, but take the time to invest in their minds and hearts as well. Talk with them about God's love, about God's principles, about how to live wisely. Listen to their questions, their fears and their dreams and offer a godly response. Particularly if your children are unable to provide your grandchildren with a stable, loving home, make sure you are the constant in their life: the one who is always there to love them and hold them to a higher standard.

Grandparents, it's possible you may even be able to homeschool your grandchildren if your children are unable to. Check your state law at to see what guidelines they have regarding grandparents homeschooling.

Kids: There may be some older children reading this article. As schools continue to be hunting grounds for maniacs, you may feel like adults have let you down. Some have. But many adults are out there desperately wanting to help you and your classmates. Get to know those adults. Become friends with teachers, security officers, and responsible adults around your school. When you see something, say something to these adults. If one adult doesn't respond to the problem, move on to the next adult until you get a solution.

Be a friend to lonely kids. Don't bully. Don't let others bully. Report bullying.

Learn how to handle an active shooter situation in your school. Find out things you can do to stop him or slow him down. Learn how to give first aid to a victim. Learn how to be a leader and help in a crisis. Pray for wisdom to know what to do if a bad situation ever happens in your school.

Singles, Childless and Empty Nesters: Look for kids that need a friend, a role model, a mentor – an adult to love them. Seek out the quiet kid in the church youth group who seems to be neglected at home. Spend time with the kid next door whose parents are never around. Become a foster family. Counsel at a crisis pregnancy center. Offer to babysit for the working single mom whose kids live at daycare all week. Find the lonely, neglected kids that are everywhere crying out for adult attention. Pour love into their lives. Pray for wisdom, pray for opportunities.

Every Adult: Learn the skills to respond to a crisis. Do you have a gun? Get a concealed carry permit and learn how to respond to an active shooter. Learn how to give medical aid to wounded people. Learn how to spot potential terrorists and get help as fast as possible. Learn how to lead people during a crisis.

Too many tragic events have happened where bystanders were either unable or unwilling to step in and help. Don't be like them. Be a person who can help. If you are literally physically unable to do anything, be the person who prays through the crisis. Our society needs prayer even more than we need guns, medical aid or leadership.

It's time for us to stop waiting on "them" to "do something" about the problems in our society. We need to step in with the Lord's help and do it ourselves. That's the American spirit that has always accomplished incredible goals.

By Heather Sheen
Originally published in the Times Examiner, Greenville, SC

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