Everybody Wants to Stop School Shootings, But...
Emily S. Cutler
No one wants to stop the control and ownership parents hold over their children's minds and bodies.
No one wants to stop the constant judgment, scrutiny, evaluation, and surveillance children are subjected to in schools.
No one wants to stop the pervasive and ruthless invalidation, discreditation, and mockery of children's feelings and emotions within their family, school, and peer contexts.
No one wants to stop the rigid standards children are held to, unable to make mistakes without punishment.
No one wants to stop the silencing and gaslighting of children's experiences of abuse - especially emotional abuse and neglect.
No one wants to stop the relentless pressure children experience to conform to societal standards of whiteness, thinness, wealthiness, heteronormativity, able-bodiedness, and neurotypicality.
No one wants to stop the complete lack of power and agency children have over their healthcare decisions.
No one wants to stop the selfishness of forcing non-consenting people into existence only to subject them to systems that control and shape their behavior to serve our needs.
No one wants to stop the conditional love children are subjected to, and the double bind this puts them in - to want to be loved, but to want to be themselves. To be forced to choose between authenticity and attachment.
No one wants to stop the way children are further abused and harmed through forced psychiatric treatment, behavioral therapies, and troubled teen programs for reacting with sadness and rage to all of the above.
School shootings are extreme. School shootings are violent. School shootings are abnormal.
It is easy to find one individual child to blame for a school shooting. It is easy to finger-point. It is easy to create algorithms and reporting programs to help identify the next "potential school shooter."
Everything else is more complicated. Everything else is normal. Everything else happens all the time, constantly, every single day, to almost every single child.
And who can we possibly blame for actions that are so normal? So mundane?
Who can we point fingers at for holding children to such rigid standards, for teaching them that they don't deserve to be loved unless they conform to our rules?
Who can we point fingers at for telling children to "snap out of it" or "man up" or "stop embarrassing us" when they are emotionally falling apart inside?
Who can we hold responsible for ranking children by intelligence, appearance, physical strength, or some other characteristic?
Is it me? Am I responsible? Am I to blame?
What if it's me? What do I do then?
WHAT IF IT'S ME?
It can't be me. It has to be the potential mass shooter. That broken, dysfunctional child. Let's find them and fix them. Let's get them the help they so clearly need and that we so clearly don't.