Another inconceivable nightmare: Former student opens fire at a public school, killing 17, or 26, or 11, or? Immediately, there is hue and cry to regulate firearms and/or the mentally ill. The opposing camps lob circular arguments at each other. On one side are the powerful gun lobby and the gun hobbyists who alternately argue that MORE guns would solve the problem – not fewer and that it is really a mental health issue. On the other side are the millions of us who posit the notion that if weapons were less available, fewer of them would be used to harm self and others.
What is different about the Valentine’s Day massacre of 2018 is an army of grieving children who are leading the charge to DO SOMETHING about the availability of weapons. If your child hits someone with a stick, you do not blame the stick – but you do take it away so it won’t be used again. Unlike most politicians in DC, no one owns the kids and they are intelligent, articulate, impassioned, and goal-oriented. Although Parkland’s slogan is “Never Again,” and they have inspired hundreds of thousands of young people to join them in marches, walkouts, lay-ins, and social media organizing, all the evidence points to another tragedy taking place within a week or two, eclipsing their efforts. After all, there have been several school shootings in 2018 so far and the year is just seven weeks along.
In the middle is a tiny voice asking, “What do we do about the Lost Boys? These left out, isolated, fatherless, and bullied boys are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of these tragedies and they return to the places of their torment to exact a bloody revenge. How do we intervene before these young males too easily access a weapon of mass destruction?”
Let the large and vibrant tea community get involved! I propose tea partnerships, starting in elementary school. By identifying those at risk and pairing them with peers who are social leaders in each cohort, we tea geeks can assist school personnel by sponsoring small tea parties where the children learn about tea and each other. Cooperative games, group responsibility, a buddy system and regular check-ins would create a community of youngsters crazy about tea and part of something bigger.
Don’t arm teachers with Glocks – arm them with teapots!