Monday, November 16, 2015

What is Terror?

What is Terror?: It depends. For me there are levels of terror. Last week I went to calling hours for a twenty-four year old, five month pregnant woman. Open casket; the whole nine yards. Great kid, supporting family. Bad choice. Heroin overdose.

Listening to stories from recovering addicts in the funeral home there were common themes. Former honor roll students, athletes, children of divorce, children overly pressured by parent(s) to perform, children with no other reason to use but to try the "next thing". That is terror to me as a parent and superintendent. That can happen to any one of us as parents. While we think "it can never happen to my family"; it happens. That is one level of terror. It is in our personal control and out of our control at the same time.

Recent Events in Paris: The second level is a little more complicated. It is terror that is largely out of our control as civilians but can take place where we find ourselves on a day to day basis. Schools, restaurants, sporting events, concerts, malls, churches, airplanes; places we go to and/or use every day. The recent events in Paris, France remind us that there are people for one reason or another who want us to live in constant fear.

Our older students talk about these types of terror because it bothers them as much as it bothers us. A high school student can understand that people were at a concert in France when someone detonated a bomb and began shooting people. A high school student will recollect the last time they were at a concert or a restaurant and it "could have been them". A stretch? Probably. Remember, that in the life of a teenager it is "all about them". That is by human design and development.

What should you do with your student? Talk to them; see if they have any questions. Reassure them that thousands of people are working around the clock to keep them safe and that they have every right to have emotions. Please let their counselor know if their feelings persist. My younger son has aspirations to be a teacher and maybe superintendent someday. I hope he will lead at a time where he will not have to write things like this.

Building Bridges: In more positive news, Twitter was very active on Saturday as a large group of West Genesee students took part in the "Build em' and Bust em'" bridge building/engineering competition at the MOST.

We are very appreciative that the MOST supports this friendly competition!

Cross Country Runners Contribute to State Sectional Win: You are also living in the "fastest" section in New York State thanks in part to the individual efforts of cross country runners Carly Benson (4th place AA girls) and David Leff (11th place AA boys). We are in Section III and the athletes competed for individual New York State Cross-Country Championships this past weekend. David, Carly, and other runners from our section combined their finishing scores to solidify the intersectional scoring win and bragging rights for Section III runners everywhere. Congratulations!

Busy and warm week ahead.  Enjoy!