The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By John LaBonty
An Open Letter 

Letter to the Editor

Just Plain Mad


February 28, 2018

I taught school for 36 years. I was always proud to be a public school teacher.

But, today I’m sick. I’m disgusted. And, I’m mad. These emotions were the same emotions I had after Columbine, Sandy Hook and too many other school shootings. I’m sick of the death and carnage of children. I’m disgusted by lawmakers who do nothing and I’m mad at everyone, including myself.

Here we go again: first shock another school shooting; then we will debate when is a good time to talk about it; next the NRA will dig their heels in and remind politicians how much money they donated to their campaigns; lawmakers will run and hide; experts will suggest what we should do; and time will pass with nothing done. Until the next school shooting and we do this all over again. The “new normal!”

The President stood in front of the American people and said, “We will do anything for the people of Florida.” Well, Mr. President, here is what you can do: support gun control and stop cutting mental health funding. We need a new rally cry “Make schools safe!” And listen to the real experts – educators!

We are the true experts about what’s needed in our schools.

So I ask myself, “What can I do?” First I ask everyone in education to speak out. NO, yell! Scream at the top of your lungs to every lawmaker both state and federal to do something. To make this their number-one priority.

My Lenten promise is to call all three Montana representatives every day and ask them what they are doing to make schools safer. I will contact my state representative and the governor with the same question. It is up to us to put pressure on lawmakers. If not us, who? And, if not now, when?

Back to mad.

I pray for my fellow teachers who have to walk back into a classroom after a shooting has occurred in a school. How do we make the students understand why nothing is going to change?


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