My quick thoughts on the assault at Spring Valley High School. If you haven’t watched the video, check it out here:
1) Humans are emotional beings. As we become older, we hopefully learn how to regulate our emotions and think critically about the long and short-term effects of our decisions. This process is called emotional intelligence.
2) It may bruise our ego when a child doesn’t comply. We may even think about doing somethings in the moment that we would never do in our right minds. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we make a split decision in a heated moment that’s rooted in ego and fear of losing “power” that we will regret.
3) Kids are learning and growing. We expect children to behave irrationally at times. They haven’t gained the wisdom and life experience to effectively regulate their emotions and egos. Teenagers especially are testy because of the struggle between childhood and adulthood, the search to find oneself, and juggling this all through wanting to be perceived a certain way in front of one’s peers. It takes time, growth and life experience that allows one to mature to use discernment. On the other hand, there is absolutely no excuse for us, as adults, who know better and can better manage our emotions because of the life experience and wisdom that we’ve hopefully acquired over time to physically or verbally abuse a child.
4) Some kids are left to be innocent children who are growing and learning. Others have their innocence stripped away from them because a number of reasons that are rooted in our complicated history and our natural instinct to be driven by fear and not by hope, faith, compassion and love. For some reason there are those of us who consciously and unconsciously accept the verbal and physical abuse of some kids and not others. Ask yourself, are you looking at this situation through the lens of love or through a lens of fear and an inability to view some children as having innocence?
5) Working in schools is a tough job. To all the teachers and administrators who understand that our children are learning and growing, and that we must always work to regulate our emotions to the best of our ability because that’s what we must model for kids, I salute you. Officer Ben Fields, I would hope you own up to your abuse of power and sincerely apologize for allowing your emotions and power trip to get the best of you and sincerely ask for forgiveness. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated and forgiveness is just the start in mending broken trust and frail relationships.