It is hard for me to imagine what the parents of high school students in Chardon, Ohio must be thinking tonight. One student was killed and four more were injured after a student went on a shooting rampage at the Chardon High School this morning.
As parents, we struggle with the awful randomness of events like this. You send your children off to a school that is just like thousands of others, and then one day you receive the horrible news that your child’s unremarkable school has been the scene of a remarkable and tragic event.
Notwithstanding a lot of speculation — much of it offered without a lot of factual basis — it is not yet clear why the shooter acted as he did. The parents of students who were victims must wonder whether their children were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and struggle with why the shooter, among the many students are dealing with significant issues in high schools across the country, decided to act out his problems so violently.
Are we to the point where another school shooting seems commonplace, and is no longer capable of generating outrage? If so, we should fear for our future. If our children cannot go to a public school without fear that they might be gunned down by a troubled classmate, or by a disgruntled nut, then we have lost an essential part of what makes up a civilized country. A society that cannot provide for safe education for its youth is hard-pressed to call itself a society at all.