2013.01.30 Cheryl Bristol: Seek the roots of violence

Written by David Green.

I can’t relate to what children are going through when they hear of repeated massacres of school children. When I went to school in the 1950s I had fears. I was worried about doing my assignments correctly and about children liking me. I remember hoping like everything I wouldn’t be chosen last for the kickball team. It never crossed my mind that I could be murdered at school.

Later it was different. Remember the threats of homemade bombs?

When I was a teenager my mother had me assist in balancing the family checkbook. She taught me that if it is not balancing, to go back to the month before when it was balanced. Our present school safety procedures are not working. We need to go back to a time before mass murders of school children and examine what was working.

We need to proceed thoughtfully and avoid unjust backlash against the mentally ill, the vast majority of whom are not violent.

We need to proceed thoroughly. I recently read an insightful book (“While They Slept: an inquiry into the murder of a family” by Kathryn Harrison) about a boy who killed his family—he used a baseball bat. We need to seek the roots of violence.

We need to proceed sensibly. Who really needs an assault rifle? Would it violate the Constitution to require a conflict management program as prerequisite to handing any person a gun?

We need to proceed caringly. The droning chant of guns, guns, guns in recent news is drowning out a deeper cry. In our community and in our family we need to attend to a quieter, weaker voice and a silent anguish: that of our children.

– Cheryl Bristol

Gorham St., Morenci

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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