Sunday, May 12, 2013

Moving forward

Since I became a grandfather four years ago, my views about children, their world and how they are affected by it, have changed dramatically. Never having toddlers and very young children of my own, seeing how their world and their parent's world is affected through their eyes is somewhat, eyeopening. I am now a much softer person when it comes to relating to children. I am also influenced to a great extent that I am routinely around North's grandchildren on a regular basis.

Given that background, a recent news event has given me pause. The tragedy of the shootings / massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School is in the news once more. School officials are recommending tearing down the school and rebuilding on the same site. After much consideration, I find that recommendation ridiculous. I know this is a hot-topic issue and many will likely disagree with my opinion, but keep in mind, it is my opinion and I am removed from the situation by a thousand miles.

I understand what teachers and parents see when they look at this school. They are reminded or relive the events that took place. Tearing down this school will not remove the memory. In my view, replacing one brick wall with a different brick wall in the same place does nothing. The children will move to different classrooms as they pass from grade to grade. It is likely that the setting of a school will be as much a hindrance to their growth as any other setting.

In this day and age, it is expensive to tear down a school and rebuild it. I don't know if the school district has the money to do that or not. Whether they do or not, shouldn't be the issue. It is not feasible to tear down every building where some horrific action occurred. Neither am I advocating that the school should be held as a historical monument for what needs to be fixed in our society. I think it would be proper to cordon off the area where the event occurred; there is no need in my view to raze the entire building.

I know it is a delicate situation and many parents no longer want to sent their children to this school. I also believe they shouldn't be required to, nor should any teacher or school employee be required to work in that location. If they are going to tear it down, tear it down, but if you are going to do that, nothing should be built in its place.

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