Educate Me

The sixteen-year-old boy got up from his seat and made his way to the classroom window that faced the entrance of the school.

“Take a picture if you want,” his teacher said.

So, he got out his cell phone and snapped away.

“He’s in handcuffs,” his friend says. “They just stuffed him in the back of the car. I heard he punched a policeman.”

The boys aren’t scared, just intrigued. And proud. For their police officers caught the boy before he shot up the school. But they aren’t sure he had a gun. They just imagine.

The boy tells his mother the story of what happened during his graphic design class while she surveys his pictures of red and blue lights. She imagines.

And she questions. Why are children in a nice, suburban school, so disturbed? These are the things they don’t tell us.


Unfortunately, this is a true story as I have a sixteen-year-old boy that snapped pictures from his classroom window of a boy being arrested and handcuffed. This was just a few days after the Uvalde shooting. I believe we need some commonsense gun laws, but we also need to address mental health and what is inspiring children and young adults to be driven to such violence.

Written for Prosery Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. Today Lisa asks us to include the line “These are the things they don’t tell us,” in a piece of prose (not poetry) that is no more than 144 words in length. The line is from Girl Du Jour, from Notes on Uvalde. It’s a powerful read!!

Published by Tricia Sankey

Plays with words in her free time.

39 thoughts on “Educate Me

  1. Oh so surreal that this is the world we live in now. You’re right, shooters don’t arise spontaneously, they are the end manifestation of a very sick society. I’m in no way excusing the behavior of the shooters but how many were cruelly and relentlessly bullied by family, school staff, and/or other students before they snapped? We need to take bullying WAY more seriously than we do, and we need to stop the ease with which firearms are able to be acquired. How the Uvalde shooter rationalized taking out a classroom of youngsters who had no connection to him is a mystery that continues to haunt me.

    1. Yes, it’s impossible to fathom how anyone could look at little elementary school children and get pleasure out of shooting them. I think he did it for the publicity as a lot of mass shooters want to be known and heard. Then there’s a discussion we could all have about social media and how that plays into these killings. Alot to analyze!

  2. It must be frightening for you, and your son. I think we need to pay more attention to the mental health issues of society as a whole: I think it would tell us a lot about where we are going wrong.

    1. Yes, I think it’s about opening our hearts and caring more for our youth. I’m for commonsense gun laws but you will never take guns completely out of the picture. It should be harder for disturbed individuals to get them though.

    1. Yes, and a school not far away from here had a resource officer shot a few months ago. No students were hurt, but that hit home as well as I have family that go there. It truly can happen anywhere which is a nightmare for everyone.

  3. It’s a problem that (so far) no other country has, so maybe the logical solution we see, of banning guns, isn’t the solution for most Americans. Mental health is bandied about a lot, but every country has mental health issues. The difference is that they don’t give kids with issues the possibility of owning assault rifles. I can’t see any other way of stopping killings, but there’s a big psychological block to overcome first.

    1. I think it’s because most Americans (not me) have hunted with rifles, etc since they were designed, and we never saw such mass shootings. I do believe assault weapons should be banned for younger people, I would even agree with age 25. To totally ban them is going to make some mad that the government has access to weapons that the people don’t, and we always want more power in the people’s hands than the governments to prevent dictatorships, etc. I may not be getting the argument totally correct but that’s the idea. I just see the world has changed since my parents generation, and a lot of that has to do with 24/7 media highlighting these mass shootings, social media, video games with shooting, etc. The guns in America hasn’t really changed all that much.

  4. Tricia, your prose is profound and resonates deeply, deeply. Mental health issues are too often simply swept under the carpet.

  5. Chilling to know this is a true story. Common sense gun laws and yes, counseling, mental health etc. But gun laws are the first and most pressing need….look at the statistics between the US and other countries and then look at the millions of dollars the NRA is funding our senators and representatives with. Something is deeply wrong.

  6. Frightening that you’ve included another real life example of the horror this country lives through every day. Mental health issues are important….but I truly believe stricter gun control laws would have an immediate effect. Look at what’s happened in other countries when they applied them….we lead the world in these horrific mass shooting statistics. FYI: here is an excellent article that appeared today, written by a retired police office and current NRA member. It is factual. It also proposes an excellent alternative to banning AR15s for those who refuse “gun control” while taking millions of dollars from the NRA. Well worth a read….very sane and, as I say, factual.

  7. How terrifying for you and your son that this is a true story!
    Yes, there are some with mental illness, but mental illness is everywhere, not just in the US. We have guns, and we definitely need laws. Yes, it’s also social media AND certain politicians. There are a lot of factors involved, but it shouldn’t be so easy to get guns.

    The NRA began as an organization that promoted gun safety and organized competitions.

    1. Yes, I hope we can enact some commonsense gun legislation and I really hope it does make a difference. A ghost gun was made by a student not far from here, he got around all the legislation and shot a school resource officer in Olathe, Kansas. The ghost guns are on the rise, I hear. And it’s the young people for the most part. Scary stuff.

  8. There are so many possible layers of discussion that could evolve from this piece. Why were the boys not scared? A topic of desensitization. Why do some wonder why someone from a suburban neighborhood can’t be disturbed? Mental illness is everywhere, anyone, any country. Assault weapons are for assault. They serve no other purpose. I don’t understand why ANYONE in the general public should own one. It’s like the solution to the problem is so glaring….at least to me, in another country. And what the heck is a ghost gun? Sorry my filter is fading…..

    1. Ghost guns are built from kits. No background checks or traceable parts. I really don’t know much about guns, but it seems if someone really wants one, they can find a way to get it or make it around here, and the legislation is no a sure proof way to stop them, although it would probably slow some down. I was just thinking I can’t understand why I never saw kids arrested through my school windows growing up, in similar schools. It seems there is too much stress on our children and they are choosing, in the US at least, to get attention in these destructive ways. I am thinking there will be some age limits put on the purchase of the assault rifles, but yes, I am thinking no one needs one. I know some will disagree and say it’s their rights to avoid tyrannical governments, etc. But I do think there has to be a better way to avoid it….

      1. Interesting. A “tyrannical government”?Seems like an exaggerated fear. Yes, it is frightening to me that there are more guns than people.

  9. I am glad to hear all was well at your son’s school.
    Only one thing will make a difference: votes. I shall not be holding my breath hopping for the best.
    Emotionally, schools are the worst. But every place we go makes us all a target.
    Some people think we need to learn to live with it. Wanna know how they will vote? 🙂

    1. Thanks, Bill, I have some hopes there will be age restrictions changed at least for assault rifles. We will see. History shows more guns are sold after mass shootings. 😔

    1. Thanks, Cindy, it’s just sad to have to worry about your kids literally surviving high school anymore, but I try to see the good in the world too! (the community here always restores my faith in humanity!) 💓

      1. soooo sad I know and I worry about my daughter who is an 8th grade science teacher too. The world has gone mad and I’m mad too but we ban together in love! 💖💖

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