Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the shooter was identified to be Nikolas Cruz.
A girl by the name Isabella Robinson came forward to share her story of how she met and was bullied by Cruz.
She wrote in an op-ed article for New York Times : “I had never seen this boy before, but I would never forget his face. His eyes were lit up with a sick, twisted joy as he watched me cry.” as he knocked the wind out of her 5 years prior to the shooting. But she was nice to him afterwards.
On March 14, encourage students to walk up. Walk up to the kid who sits alone at lunch and invite her to sit with you. Walk up to the kid who sits quietly in the corner, smile and say hi. Walk up to the kid who may be disruptive in class and ask him how he’s doing. Walk up to teachers and school staff and say thank you. Walk up to someone who has different views than you and get to know him/her. Walk up to 14 students and 3 teachers and say something kind. Honor the lives of those lost by walking up, not out.#walkupnotout
This was a movement that made headlines on the school walkouts nationwide on March 14th, 2018
A year after Cruz physically assaulted Robinson, she was assigned to tutor him, and she did the best to show him kindness and be nice to him, despite what had happened a year prior, and even though he continued to bully her.
“Despite my discomfort, I sat down with him, alone. I was forced to endure his cursing me out and ogling my chest until the hourlong session ended. When I was done, I felt a surge of pride for having organized his binder and helped him with his homework.”
“Looking back, I am horrified. I now understand that I was left, unassisted, with a student who had a known history of rage and brutality.” – wrote Robinson.
Robinson says that the reason she didn’t refuse her assignment was her desire to please and be seen as mature. She cites: “I would have done almost anything to win the approval of my teachers.”
The article was not Robinson’s personal attack on Cruz, she wrote it to show those who believe that kindness alone will stop school shootings.
“It is not the obligation of children to befriend classmates who have demonstrated aggressive, unpredictable, or violent tendencies, it is the responsibility of the school administration and guidance department to seek out those students and get them the help that they need, even if it is extremely specialized attention that cannot be provided at the same institution.”
“The implication that Mr. Cruz’s mental health problems could have been solved if only he had been loved more by his fellow students is both a gross misunderstanding … and a dangerous suggestion that puts children on the front line”
The #NeverAgain movement is being led by children, but they can’t be the only ones who can change the tragedies that have happened to never happen again.
We think that kindness alone is not enough in defense against mass shootings, but gun reform is.
What do you think, should schools rely on “kindness” to stop mass shootings, or should they take better precautions? Let us know in the comments.
And please don’t forget to share with your friends and family.