Friday, October 26, 2007

Shooting at South Middle

This post is a little delayed, I know...but I really wanted to post about this, at least to some degree. I'm sure by now, many of you have heard of the shooting on Wednesday early evening at South Middle in Saginaw. I was heartbroken as I watched the news footage as the camera panned across the front of the school and then down by the football field. South Middle, the school that is dearest to my heart, now the latest display of teen violence in Saginaw.

My time at South Middle when I was doing my teaching field work is a time I continually refer back to in my memory with nothing but excitement and joy, the experience that reminds me of why I want to be a teacher. I am reminded of the stellar administration and teaching staff there that are committed to ensuring that each student receives a good education, no matter what. Oh I could go on and on about how amazing the South staff and administration are as they face challenges on a daily basis that extend much further than simply curriculum and budget concerns that so many schools in my own little community face.

When I did my field work at South, I parked every morning just about ten feet from where the shooting took place. I remember standing with my class in the very place where this young man was, when I took the kids out in front of the school for a fire drill. The young man who apparently committed this act of violence was a student at the school when I was teaching there for my semester of field work. What causes a student to act out in violence like this? And what is my responsibility as a future teacher when I'm standing before these students on a daily basis? What needs to be addressed? What can I do? I don't know, these probably seem like naive questions and they are hardly deep, but they are questions that flit across my mind as I continue to watch the follow-up on the news concerning this shooting. Especially as I watch the interviews of the parents who are pulling their kids from South now that this has occurred, declaring that there is no discipline at the school and that their kids are too frightened to go back.

I know with full certainty one thing I will continue to do and consider my greatest ministry as I teach. And that is to pray. Pray for each one of the lives that I get to interact with on a daily basis, for the school, and for the community. I know this is one thing I can do because although I feel so helpless as I consider this huge issue of violence in Saginaw, I know with full certainty that God is not helpless. And I will place my hope and my trust in Him.