After a two week hiatus, Fox’s hit show, “Glee,” was back on the air with a new episode. However, it wasn’t just any episode. Before the show began, a warning came on the screen to warn viewers that this episode would deal with school violence and to use discretion.
I was surprised. After all of the topics the show has dealt with over the past four seasons — teen pregnancy, premarital sex and cohabitation, gay and lesbian issues, eating disorders, homelessness, and the list goes on — that this would be the episode that gets a warning.
I get it. Gun control is a hot-button issue and school safety, in light of many recent school and university shootings, has increased vigilance and sensitivity. I remember Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, the shooting of Congresswomen Giffords, Ft. Hood, SandyHook, and a host of other incidents and tragedies over the years. But it seems like things are coming to a head now, and “Glee” has chosen to throw their hat in the ring.
Glee Cast (Image from Keith McDuffee, Flickr)
Regardless of where you stand on gun control, school safety, and mental illness, one thing is for sure: there are no easy answers. In an effort to show what young people think on the issues surrounding gun policy, the non-profit organization, dosomething.org, conducted a survey and has made the results available to the public. You can get your report here.
What I want to stress here, on my available forum, is to talk with your kids and students about what’s going on. They want and need to know that the adults in their lives care about their safety and well-being in and out of school. I also urge parents and educators to speak with kids and teens to develop a plan of action in case of emergency. Cover where to meet, how to communicate, what to do if something happens at school, and how to best use their cell phones to communicate vital information to you and law enforcement.
(Photo from Dosomething.org)
The last thing anyone wants to see are more of these tragedies. But if we all take the time to have these frank conversations, we can start to develop real solutions.
Please leave your thoughts and questions below in regards to the current gun control debate, school safety, and how the media deals with such events. And, as always, feel free to email me!