I read with great sadness about the most recent school shooting in Florida. The shooter will face 17 counts of murder, but it will prove difficult to feel that justice has been served.
How do you prevent such crimes? How do you heal after such a crime?
I’m unsure what the answers are, but as a country we need to work toward the answers.
As a journalist, it’s difficult to have to publish news about school shootings so often. As readers, I’m sure it’s tough to read about them, too. Media outlets often hear feedback that covering such crimes only gives the perpetrator fame and attention that is undeserved. By not reporting them, though, we do a disservice to the victims and their families.
I know the incident will be politicized by individuals on both ends of the political spectrum. But as one student, David Hogg, said, “We need to do something. We need to get out there and be politically active. Congress needs to get over their political bias with each other and work toward saving children’s lives.”
School shootings, unfortunately, are nothing new. In fact, September will mark the 25th anniversary of a shooting that took place right here in Sheridan. A man with a rifle and a pistol walked onto a field at Central Middle School — which no longer exists — and wounded four children in a gym class before shooting himself.
Twenty-five years of school shootings.
While school shootings certainly aren’t the only form of violence that shake our nation, they have proven a prominent one.
How can we do better?
While the news of the shooting is tough to process, there are positive, uplifting stories in the news each day that can restore faith in humanity.
Many stories around the Olympics are uplifting, powerful reminders of what humans can do.
Local news, too, includes reports of good things happening all around us. Each and every day, local individuals promote and actively support causes such as healthy relationships, feeding hungry children and promoting diversity. Local coaches create spaces for children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to compete and feel the camaraderie that develops through athletics and other activities.
Neighbors help neighbors by clearing sidewalks and helping find furniture, food and other items for those in need.
On Wednesday, we celebrated local businesses that have gone above and beyond. We recognized business owners who promote community involvement. We celebrated those who embody the “Spirit of Sheridan.”
Of course there are things in this world that are difficult, that are sad and that are horrific. But look around you — there is plenty of good as well.