TEXAS SCHOOL SHOOTING
Another school shooting in Texas has killed more than eight people and injured many others. Equipping teachers with guns, tight surveillance mechanism and a culture of mistrust may be immediate responses but how far can the repression of deeper philosophic and ethical questions on education take us?
In America school shootings have occurred on several occasions in the past but their frequency and intensity have certainly become greater. On Friday another school shooting unfolded when in a school at Texas a gunman open fired and killed more than 8 people. The shooter has been arrested.
Several other students as well as an officer were injured in the shooting. This is the third school shooting in the past seven days, and 22nd since the beginning of the year in the US. Only a few months ago a similar incidence took place in Florida that killed many students.
The frequency of such incidences has meant that the school ambience is gradually becoming that of anxiety and doubt. Despite the fact that great surveillance mechanism are introduce and the awareness is spread , it is not being able to reduce such occurrences as they are taking place at an unprecedented scale.
The American President Donald Trump recommended that teachers on school should have access to weapons to protect the school community when an issue like this comes up but what is ironic is that despite strong mechanism for punishment- school shootings take place perpetually in American states. It is not merely a security concern it also points out to a nuanced social and cultural decline in the way that people relate to the world, negotiate with anger and frustration and in the absence of humane companionship express their anger in violent and unsocial behaviour.
We cannot reason school shootings but to address the issue we must understand its roots. In a society like America that epitomised neo-liberal competition, rat race and denial of cooperative and collective spirit and enhanced egocentrism- there seems to be inadequate scope for individual weakness, incapacity or failure. Many of the school shootings have been carried out by students who earlier studied in the school but felt ridiculed, insulted for inferior performance. The frustration, the anger that the competitive environment cannot address can often be manifested in such a manner.
Equipping school workers with guns can seem like an immediate strategy but what must be realised is that it can never address the root of the issue which is isolation, loneliness, hyper- competitiveness and the lack of humane understanding that a society like America faces. The educational and cultural issues that an incidence like this bring forward also invites us to rethink on the purpose and nature of education, the relationship between teachers and students, the ethical and moral obligations that people must have for each other and the nature of social bonds that we must work toward.
Education for employment of degrees, hyper competition and negligence of the weak, the socio-cultural celebration of success and the marginalised voices of those that society labels’ useless’ collectively generate the problem that the contemporary world in general and America in particular is facing. We must address this issue to think of a really alternative educational and societal practice.