I am in shock over the shooting at Arapahoe High School. I live five minutes’ drive from the school. All three of my children attended and graduated from Arapahoe. How can something so horrific happen in my own backyard? I am usually in a festive mood this time of year, but this tragedy has me totally off course.
My youngest son, Luc, graduated from Arapahoe in 2013. He played varsity basketball. My oldest son Jean-Paul graduated in 2006, and my daughter Michele in 2008.
Many questions flood my mind as I continue to try to make sense out of this tragedy:
What triggered the shooter, and are there any underlying issues that were ignored by his parents and school officials?
As a high school teacher, should I be concerned with how I confront students?
What can we do better as adults to prepare our children to handle adversity?
What lessons can we all learn from this tragedy?
I am not in a position to be accusatory, but something went awry with the shooter. How can a parent not know something is mentally wrong with his or her child? I do not think Karl Pierson woke up one day and decided to become a killer overnight. I hope this tragedy will inspire all parents to pay closer attention to their teens.
We live in a society that encourages instant gratification. We must find ways to teach our children that adversity is part of life, and helps build character. As a parent and an educator, I can’t shy away from confronting it if it is needed. I do not know what happened between Karl Pierson and his teacher, but whatever it is it should never have led to him going on a killing rampage.
I have been a classroom teacher for 26 years. I spent 15 of those years teaching middle school. During my tenure as a middle school teacher, I had two students who threatened to kill me. These students were properly disciplined, and thank goodness, they did not carry out their threats.
I moved into Arapahoe’s attendance area because the school has an excellent academic reputation. Hubby and I wanted to set our three children up for success. We are proud that our three children attended Arapahoe.
I will continue to pray for my community and for Claire Davis. I know from firsthand experience that we are a strong community and we will come out as victors not victims in this horrible tragedy.