Vertically challenged, full-time mama of two children; a boy and a girl. Wife to a husband who knows me too well. Past work experience includes interactive marketing, public relations, and teaching. Self-proclaimed worrier and over-thinker. Loves the sun, cookies & cream ice cream, and lounging on the couch with a good foodie magazine.

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The Bremerton Shooting: Is there a Loaded Gun at your school?

About a week ago there was a story in the local news about a third grade girl who was accidentally shot at her Bremerton elementary school.  There was a loaded gun in her classmate’s backpack and when he slammed it down on a desk, it went off, striking the little girl’s arm and going through to her abdomen.  She is in the hospital in critical condition with many surgeries ahead of her.  The bullet is lodged near her spine and many of her internal organs have been damaged.  It is truly a heartbreaking story.

As a former teacher and now a parent, it breaks my heart that this sort of thing happens at school.  For me, school should be a safe place where children learn and laugh and grow.  If this had happened in my classroom to one of my students, I would have been crushed.  I don’t even know this little girl and I can’t stop thinking about it.

The real question here is: Why does a nine-year old have a .45 caliber handgun in his backpack?


Is there a gun in your child's classroom?


The boy has been charged – with unlawful possession of a gun, bringing a dangerous weapon to school, and third-degree assault.   But, I feel like the real responsibility resides with his parents.  Of course, kids need to learn from their mistakes and face actual consequences for their actions.  This little boy made a very big mistake for which he needs to learn and understand.  However, he is nine and from all that I’ve read, his home life is less than ideal, with parents that both have criminal backgrounds.  They have done him no favors and I would guess that his life is no walk in the park.

Unfortunately, his choice to put a loaded gun in his backpack that day almost killed a little girl.  A little girl whose life will never be the same.  Her family will be forever affected, as well as the lives of all the kids and teachers in the classroom that day.

So, the real question is, how do we keep children safe at school?  How do we make sure there are no weapons in backpacks?  Are we doing all that we need to do?  Shootings at school seem to be all too common these days throughout the country and it needs to be addressed.

When I was in the sixth grade, growing up in Northern California, there was a shooting at a local elementary school where the gunman showed up in the parking lot during recess and opened fire.  He killed several students and wounded many others and then shot himself.  It was a true tragedy and it still gives me goose bumps thinking about it.

I know that there are accidents and unfortunate things that happen in the world.  I know that I can’t put a gigantic bubble around my kids when they are at school, but there needs to be something done to keep weapons out of our schools.  Our kids need to be protected.

What do you think should be done?  How can we ensure a safe learning environment for our kids?

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Comments (4)

  1. how to treat backpain 05/31/2012 at 9:40 am

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  2. Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz 03/05/2012 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t think anything can be done to make schools 100% safe, it is impossible. Just like real life is never ‘safe’, existing in this world you’re already at risk for violence. The problem lies with the family unit that has fallen apart. It seems that for every family with high family values there are three families that have few or none. The way society is designed today, children spend most of their day apart from parents – it was never meant to be like that. Children lived and learned alongside parents for thousands of years, public schooling is only a hundred+ years old. I think as long as parents are forced to work to pay the bills and resort to having public schools essentially raise their children, there will only be more and more problems. With parents unavailable and not engaged with their kids, the children turn to peers for dependence. Prisons are full of those that listen to peers, not their parents.

  3. Melissa 03/05/2012 at 2:00 pm

    It’s crazy what’s happening on school campuses these days. I don’t even know where to begin… I think the problem starts at home. Not to excuse the actions of a shooter by ANY means, but there are a lot of hurting children who are unable to cope. They turn to guns to solve their problems… It won’t surprise me when there are metal detectors and armed security guards patting down each student and teacher before entering a school building.

  4. Carina 03/02/2012 at 7:35 pm

    This terrifies me. Just a couple weeks ago a man put a couple of guns he’d been using on the top of his car, forgot about them, and drove away. He happened to pass an elementary school, and the guns fell off the car roof and landed in the curb and sidewalk in front of the school. A child found one gun, and a parent found the other. I CANNOT IMAGINE. Or rather, I CAN IMAGINE WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED, and I do not want to.

    The Bremerton shooting is a tragedy. I read the story out loud to my son and we went through what to do if he finds or sees a gun.