If you have been watching the news and waiting for stories about the school shooting in Brazil, good luck. I have not seen much in the way of coverage on TV, in print, or online. The lack of coverage of this major news story is appalling to say the least, but it also clearly indicates that when something happens is just as important as where.
Ten girls and two boys between the ages of 12-15 were murdered in cold blood by a gunman identified as 23-year-old Wellington Oliveira, a former student of the Tasso da Silveira School (where the shooting took place) in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the biggest country in South America and home to the largest number of Catholics in the world.
The Pope spoke about the shooting and offered his support, but you would never know that from the news media here. I had to dig on Google to find that out. In fact, I was actively looking for stories about the shooting last night on television, but everything was about the President, the Congress, and the budget fiasco (otherwise known as the Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly).
It is clear that this shooting happened at the wrong time. We are still getting reports about the nuclear crisis in Japan (and that is, of course, completely understandable), but it is almost as if this shooting never took place, and I find that to be a complete and utter disgrace. When the story is covered in print or online, it is done briefly. I’d like to see some outrage from people here, some reaction, and some call to help the victims and their families, but I have seen none of this.
I could say, “Imagine if a gunman walked into a school in the United States and did the same thing?” Of course, you would say “What about Columbine?” and we can all recall the wall-to-wall coverage that received. Similar shootings in Scotland and Russia were given heavy coverage, but the shooting in Brazil is either being overlooked or placed way to the back burner.
Any shooting in a school should be of enormous concern to people in every country in the world, but especially in an elementary school where children have been sent to what is perceived as a safe environment. A story like this should make everyone take note and stock of security and safety in their own schools.
I would hope that people in this country and other countries will reach out to the people in Brazil, offer all kinds of support to the victims and their families, and work to find ways to make sure that something like this is less likely to happen again.
The more important question remains for the media: why hasn’t this story been given proper coverage? Whether it is because it happened at the wrong time or in the wrong place, it is disgraceful either way. Twelve children are dead and all the media coverage possible wouldn’t bring them back, but it would honor the dead and their familes, let the world know of their story, and respect their memory. I do not think that is asking for too much.