The poet John Greenleaf Whitter said: “For of all the sad words of the tongue and the pen, the saddest are these: ‘It could have been.’ ”
What could become of the lives of the young people slaughtered this summer? Unfortunately, we will never know. What we do know is that in just a few short weeks, schools across America will be in session.
What is the impact of the increase in violence on our young people? When school resumes, what shape will they be psychologically?
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Chicago Police reported that there was an almost 139% increase in murders in July 2020 compared to the same time last year. How do teachers and school administrators work with students – and if schools are starting remotely, how do they provide teletherapy services – who experience traumatic events while dealing with COVID-19, especially students in color whose families have been hit hard?
Unfortunately, we often do not discuss the pain these young people are going through and the impact it has on the different institutions.
As a military soldier, I saw troops suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The difference is that they were adults. As a school principal, my staff and I work with teenage and pre-teen students. They are vulnerable, at the mercy of the community in which they live. Mental instability increases among young people. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 34, and the onset of all major mental illnesses can begin as young as 7 to 11 years old.
Evidence of this mental angst can be seen in the increase in neighborhood shootings, school brawls, and poor student-teacher relations. When you bring together students who have been traumatized, the environment becomes complex and uncertain.
Educators are on the front line and do their best to help the injured. The challenges are enormous and include working to find ways to deal with black or Hispanic cultural norms that may not accept help or have a lack of trust in institutions.
Please keep students, parents and teachers in your deepest thoughts and help them work together.
Jerald McNair, South Holland
Sit down, Cupp and Charen
In the August 7 edition of the Sun Times, under the banner “Joe must not make veepstakes mistake”, you published the opinions of two Republican / Conservative pundits, SE Cupp and Mona Charen.
Ms Cupp lets us know that if Joe Biden doesn’t pick her favorite candidate for vice-presidency, she may have to write someone else for the presidency, as she did in 2016. A decision which took place in 2016 and which will be in 2020, a vote for Donald Trump.
To Mrs. Cupp, I say, grow up.
Ms. Charen lets us know that by committing to choose a female running mate, Joe Biden “is not looking for the best person, but the best woman”. As for the African American women on Joe’s list, she said, “few black women have the experience and stature to run for the presidency.” Other than that this statement is offensive, it is, in my opinion, false.
Again, Ms. Cupp and Ms. Charen are Republican. Members of that party had no problem nominating and then voting for Trump in 2016 – a man morally, ethically and psychologically unfit to be president.
So I say to Mrs Cupp and Mrs Charen, if I need your advice, I will ask. In the meantime, sit down and be quiet.
Susan Lovell, DeKalb
It’s time for Madigan to go
Illinois has been one of the most corrupt states. He is drowning in debt. Michael Madigan has served as Speaker of the House for the past 35 years as this corruption swirled and swirled. Yet he has never been held responsible, apparently because he knows how to avoid being linked to his crimes.
It is time to say “enough” of this cronyism and to demand his resignation. Governor Pritzker did not demand that Madigan step down as he is counting on him to get things done.
Illinois is sick of being skinned. Madigan has to go.
Lee Knohl, Evanston