Being a parent is scary. There are a million things to worry about – will my child be bullied? Will they look both ways before they cross the street? Will they forget what they know and get in the car with a stranger?
As a parent, one of the scariest things that I can think about is my children being involved in a school shooting. I vividly remember the Columbine shooting. It was an event that scarred so many people – including the families of the shooters. Just this past week, Dylan Klebold’s mother (Dylan was one of the shooters) was interviewed. According to CNN, she said that she missed the warning signs that her son was troubled, and cautioned against suicidal thoughts and mental health issues as being a threat to our children that we may not otherwise thing about. Klebold that her book , which is being released on Monday, February 15, will help other parents spot potential signs of trouble with their children. (She’s donating all the proceeds to mental health charities, so no questions of profiteering here.)
It’s a scary, scary thought. There are a lot of theories about why we have the prevalence of school shootings that we do in this country. Harvard Political Review reports that between 11/1/1991 and 7/16/2013 there have been 55 school shootings in the United States – far and away more than any other country. The proposed causes and potential remedies are pervaded by politics: gun control, funding for mental health, and funding for education, to name a few.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I know as a mom, it’s scary. I recently read a book called “This is Where it Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp, which is the fictional account of a school shooting. Here’s a little bit about This Is Where It Ends.
About This is Where it Ends
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won’t open.
Someone starts shooting.
This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens—each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.
This was a very emotional book for me. To me, it was structured like Nineteen Minutes, one of my favorite Jodi Picoult books, but this was definitely set up for a YA reader. Aside from the emotional nature of feeling for these high school students as they navigated their way through the worst imaginable scenario at school, I like that Nijkamp injected elements of diversity into the book. Two of the main characters are involved in a same-sex relationship – if that bothers you, I wouldn’t pick this book up for your teenager. I would probably not recommend this book to anyone under 8th grade, but I have no problems giving this book to my high schooler (who has also read Nineteen Minutes).
Do you worry about school shootings as a parent? Do you feel like your child’s school has enough security in place?