Who cares about a country for old men (referring to the 2007 movie), if we don’t have a country of heroes? A nation where there are no heroes, is a nation unfit for man or beast to live in, in my opinion; yet that is where we are headed when we teach our children to stand down (sit down…lie down), rather than to stand up, get involved, and step in to save the life of someone who can’t defend themselves.
That is exactly what happened in Calgary, Canada recently, when 7th grade student, Briar MacLean, saw a bully attack another child with a knife. With the teacher on the other side of the room, Briar stepped in, attacked the bully, and most likely saved the victim from death or serious injury. What did he get for that act of heroism? A stern lecture and public humiliation.
Briar was called to the office later that day, and when his mother was called, she was told that the school does not “condone heroics.” Mrs. O’Donnell, Briar’s mom, noted that the victim could have had his throat slit in the time it took for the teacher to address the problem, to which the staff member replied, “Yes, but that’s beside the point. We don’t condone heroics in this school.”
Wow. What can you even say to someone with that mentality? “Yes, but…”? Yes, the child could have died, in front of an entire class of children, who would then have to deal with, and live with, the emotions brought forth by experiencing such a traumatic event; much less the guilt of children nearby that might have prevented it, and the families that would be tormented by it.
Do we really want to live in a world without heroes? Do we really want to teach the next generation to just sit by and let the authorities handle everything? Ah, therein may lie the problem. Who benefits from that type of thinking? The victim? The child, whose natural, and most likely parent-taught, heroic inclination to be a sheepdog and protect the sheep? Anyone else that might also be harmed?
Obviously, the only ones that benefit from that type of belief system are the authorities themselves. It is very difficult to manage a pack of sheepdogs – much easier to manage a flock of sheep. If we allow those who wish to “manage” us to teach the next generation to stand down, we will all fall.
If you would like to take a moment to express your feelings on the matter to the school staff, here is their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email the Board of Education via: Boardoftrustees@cbe.ab.ca. Please get involved. It really takes so little time to speak out, and makes such a huge difference.