I had a blog ready about last weekend’s basketball and thoughts about it.
But, TikTok popped up in everyone’s lives last night.
And not in a good way.
Listen, I love TikTok. I love the creativity. I love the knowledge that I find (teaching, cooking, gardening, technology, etc.). I love how it gives those without a voice the chance to lift their message up.
But like so much social media, go to the wrong areas, and it’s a cession pool of floating human trash. And I write this in the harshest way possible. The amount of hate, racism, homophobic, transphobic idiocy that is out there can shake a person to their core. I love that there those out there battling these clowns because it would wear on me.
However, last night, I heard the TikTok “trend” about “American School Shooting Day”.
Language. But I know. I left my phone at school as we traveled to a basketball game, and upon return, there were tons of messages from teachers about this nonsense. Our superintendent sent an email, and we met briefly this morning to talk. Right now, 30% – 40% of kids are gone. Now, some are sick, others on vacation (another blog entirely), but on our attendance roster, most have “parent call and they won’t be in” typed by their now. I hardly blame them.
When do we draw a collective line in the sand and say enough is enough? When do we demand that our state and federal legislators get real about the mental health crisis in our country, pledging real tax dollars towards programs for adults AND kids? When do we demand that our tax dollars go towards strengthen our educational system? “Oh but you are a teacher of course you’d say that.” First off, come step into my classroom for a week. I see 160 kids every other day. I absolutely love my job, but rural districts are getting starved because of zero tax base, they consolidate, get starved again, all while urban districts grow in numbers and dollars. When do we demand that our tax dollars go towards those things to HELP rural district gain and retain families? Things like high-speed internet (some have zero connections or only connection is spotty on their cell phone), updated infrastructure, small business grants/loans, incentives for coming to a smaller community. All of these things I’d gladly use my tax dollars if it helped my community out. When we collectively call for more regulations on the use of social media by teens? If the “legal” age to sign up for some of these things is 13 and we have 9 year olds with a social media presence, something is wrong.
Now, that being said, I did an informal survey of my students. 75% – 85% have social media of some kind. 5%. – 10% of their parents know who they follow or what they post.
I get it, good, bad, or otherwise, social media where kids live. This is “their place”. But when did their place mean parents don’t have a right to go snooping around? My daughter will tell you, I knew a lot of her social media stuff. All of it? Oh no. She was good at hiding things. Very good.
But, I still worked to keep up with the technology, the apps, and where she was going. Parents today don’t think they can do these things.
“Oh they need their space.”
Ummmm, no. They need boundaries. They need you to not be their friend. That’s what adulthood is for.
I’m getting preachy, but damn, for all the good social media has brought (and it has brought good), these kind of threats scare me because at some point, the threat will become a reality, then we’ll have the “thoughts and prayers” crowd and people will forgot.
When is enough enough? Another school shooting? 10? 100?
How many students and educators need to die before we wake up from our collective stupor? How many lives need to be lost for people to get a clue? How many times do we need to hear the empty phrase “our thoughts and prayers go out to” before something, ANYTHING is done to help?
I wish I had answers. I do. I’d give them away.
Tonight, I write, listen to Owl City, and think about a more simple time.