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.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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