Change the culture of speaking up to save lives

The horrific killing, maiming and/or psychological trauma that the children and staff of Oxford High School, their families, first responders, medical staff and others endured firsthand is a wound to the soul that at the very least will leave a permanent scar.

Thankfully so much good has poured from our community that we are getting a glimpse of how loving humanity can be.

We have likely also noticed that it is human nature to try to make sense of things that really don’t make sense; particularly if they are examined from only each individual’s perspective. It’s just too complex to imagine every perspective, and it can get quite frustrating.

So what did I do? The same thing probably that everyone does. I searched my own perspective: the biological sciences.

I came across a New York Times article from March 10, 2001(20 years ago) about a 15-year-old boy who killed people when he shot up his school. It’s written by Daniel Weinberger, titled “A Brain Too Young For Good Judgement.” It’s in the opinion section, as it is an opinion that perhaps the primary reason why there are so many school shootings is that the development of the prefrontal cortex of the human brain, which fully examines long-term consequences of vengeful actions, is not yet developed in teenagers.

It is my opinion that yes, this is just one facet (an important one) of a seriously multifaceted phenomenon.

If everyone in our much-loved community were to shine a light on their own particular facet (as we have seen so many heroic examples) and we were to all realize that maybe it’s not ONLY a bad seed, bad parents, broken homes, mental illness, the schools, politics or even general apathy. Maybe, to whatever extent, it’s an unknown combination.

If their brains are too young, maybe we should talk to teens about the horrific aftermath that awaits these perpetrators in prison.

Let’s change the culture of speaking up. Students who tell a teacher what they see or hear, and teachers who act on it are NOT snitches. They are heroes.

If your facet is to pray, then pray with all your heart for everyone in our community.

Who knows, even one small act that may seem insignificant could have the potential to save lives.

Tammy Gach

Lake Orion


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