This series features writing from inmates at the El Paso County Jail. The articles stem from weekly programming facilitated by the Colorado College Prison Project. Through contact between the CC community and Colorado Springs, this series aims to simultaneously broaden the CC perception of incarceration issues and provide a platform for incarcerated writers. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office requires approval of written material prior to publication and the removal of authors’ last names.
First of all, let me start by giving my prayers and heart to every single parent out there who lost their child. Words cannot describe the sadness. The first thing I thought about was my own child and whether he is going to be safe the older he gets in school. How can we as parents prepare our kids for and protect them from such an event? We have to take preventative steps. In my opinion, bullying is a red flag. Several of the kids who are violent in school are victims of bullying. Now I don’t know if, as a parent, I definitely will be asking everyday “Are you ok?” “How was school?” “No one hurt your feelings, right?” I have to make talking to my child a priority. That is the way we can help our kids speak up rather than hide away angry feelings.
Second, I think it now has to be up to each student to be fully aware of their surroundings. It’s a crazy world and getting worse at that. I notice in my life when someone is off and not being themselves. It’s like a stab to the heart when we can sense that something definitely isn’t right. From there, I would naturally distance myself from that person. I learned when someone plans something bad they tend to ask a lot of people about it. It has to be up to you and I to be able to pick out and watch for strange vibes that people give out. Warnings are being ignored, which isn’t good at all. Trust your gut.
I believe school shootings are a huge problem because it is part of our freedom. I want to know especially on home turf that my child is safe to get their education without their life being at stake. Of course, it’s a step-by-step process that will start at home with the way we raise our kids to speak up. Paying close attention to their feelings and emotions is the most important. Security needs to be stepped up by our government.
Americans always join together in bad times, and that’s exactly what needs to happen. Alone this can’t be stopped, but together we can do anything. Seeing the anger of a father having to say, “That’s all I think about,” and “My child is gone,” brought me to tears. My heart is with them all. It is unbelievable that this has happened again. Never lose faith—I believe we can stop this. It’s America, “home of the brave,” and I hope every person reading this will just take a little out of it and pay attention to their surroundings. All we have is ourselves at the end of the day, so we have to protect that. Step up our game on the way we can protect our kids. I’m definitely proud to be part of an amazing country. We can stand together. I come from a family of war veterans. Speaking together we believe the same: that, together, we can stop this. Prayers and thoughts are with you.