Bullying, plus a rough childhood, plus grown ups not reaching out to a lonely kid doesn't always lead to a tragic event like at PHHS, and in no way should there ever be an excuse to do such a horrible thing, but in this case it did and the only person who will know the real reasons is Robert.
When the shooting at Columbine High School happened in 1999, I was going into high school in the fall. Needless to say, I was scared to death. If this is what happened in high school, I didn't want to go.
When the Virginia Tech shooting occurred, I was in my senior year of college and it was still scary and still confusing.
Now that this has happened basically in my backyard, I'm scared for what this means for my non-existent kids who I hoped would go to PHHS. Even more, I'm scared for what it means for my husband.
I'm so glad he wasn't there that Monday, even though not being there killed him.
He wanted so badly to help out and comfort everyone and help the kids, and not doing so literally made him sick to his stomach.
But I'm glad he was safe at home. What if it was Chris on cafeteria duty and not Jesse Wasmer, the guidance counselor who students credit for stopping the shooter? (Wasmer, coincidently, also went to PHHS along with my sister-in-law.)
He went into school later that week and got to speak to some teachers and wore the school colors, blue and gold, Friday.
Chris doesn't know the shooter, but knows the kid who was shot, Daniel Borowy.
He watched Daniel sing karaoke last year where he, of course, performed a Lady Gaga song, and said people loved it and cheered him on.
He would wave back to Daniel in the hallway and said he was always cheerful and smiling. Basically, he's one of the good ones.
I don't know why these school shootings keep happening. I hate that they do.
School is supposed to be that one place where you don't have to worry about feeling safe.
I hate that these kids, and they really are kids, feel like this is the only way out or feel like it's the best solution to a problem that in the grand scheme of things isn't that bad and will get better.
I am thankful, however, for good people like Jesse Wasmer, kind-hearted students like Daniel, teachers who just want to help like my husband and schools like Perry Hall that can rally together and get through tough times.
You can do it, Gators. We're behind you.