original photo credit: Flickr
I woke up yesterday morning very similarly to the way I wake up every morning. Tired after a fitful night of sleep (too much on my mind), not wanting to leave my bed, though it is now cold- having been vacated by my husband an hour earlier- looking forward to bed tonight, and pressing on towards my kids beds to wake them for school. I help them prepare for their day, and send a text to my husband to let him know I’m awake (I’m a notorious over-sleeper since I have such difficulty sleeping). Breakfast, teeth brushing, hair combing, drying tears over lost shoes, jacket, backpack, and we’re out the door.
My daughter has been relaying to us for weeks that she’s tried to tell her teacher about the issue with this bully. She tells us that her teachers know about her treatment of this special needs child that she tries to protect, and they just brush it off as “kid stuff” and refuse to address it. We’ve heard it all before. It’s the same story at the old school. The teacher claims it’s nothing, it’s minor, it isn’t a big deal and then we’re sitting in front of him, pouring our US Marine hearts out to him that if something should happen to our daughter while in his care, we will be so very disappointed. And then she comes home after being attacked on the playground by a group of children- and the teacher on the playground conveniently turns her back, doesn’t tell anyone, doesn’t protect her or at least separate her from the other children, denies her access to the nurse or a phone call to mom, and the next thing you know, I’m standing in front of the school board relaying exactly WHY I am going to rip every single limb from this man’s body… when they tell me that they can’t punish this group of girls because they are protected by minority status.
Yes, we’ve walked down this road, and now we know better. So, today I put the fear of Jesus and Marines into the hearts and souls of the offenders- including the teacher. She was very understanding- accepting that she’d thought it was just childish drama, and acknowledging that should this problem become a bigger problem, my child has been instructed to run immediately to the nearest phone and call 911. And that charges will be pressed against the teacher specifically. And any other follow up action that needs to happen. And that disappointment in her life choices will be the least of her concerns.
Because, you see, I don’t mess around when it comes to the safety of those in my care. Not when we know better, not when we have experienced this and know how it’s going down.
When I got home, it was to the message that an organization that I follow, founded by an acquaintance of mine, had been hacked by ISIS. The FBI is involved, and anyone else that I don’t know about behind the scenes. I was flooded with messages from people asking if they should delete their Facebooks and their Twitters and their Pinterests. Some I replied “yes” and some “no”. To the “yes” people, it was because the stress of an ISIS threat is too much. They don’t need it. To the “no” people, it was because we know better this time. We know what we need to do about bullies.
And then I read that American ISIS prisoner Kayla Mueller was executed. An aid worker, Mueller left home in 2012 to work in Syria on a refugee aid mission. She was kidnapped less than a year later while exiting a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders. We know she was permitted to send letters to her family, and that’s pretty much all we know. We don’t know how she died, we don’t know specifically when.
Mueller is only one of an undetermined number of American prisoners held by ISIS, and the group has shown that they aren’t afraid to execute these prisoners- no matter what country they hail from. It would seem that western prisoners fetch the highest shock value, but last week’s live burning of a Jordanian prisoner both shocked the world and resulted in an instant strike by Jordan, as the country immediately executed their ISIS prisoners and began dropping bombs anywhere an ISIS goat was believed to be breathing.
As I read all of the articles and other pieces of information I could find, I wondered what kind of response the United States would give to one of our barely grown young women being slaughtered. And the answer was…
Probably nothing. I have a President who looks at ISIS and says “Oh they’re just the JV team. They’re harmless. No really… they aren’t terrorists. Remember that time the Crusades happened?”
I’ve said again and again, “These ISIS people have crossed the line between bully and dangerous” and he’s replied time and time again “We’re going to hunt them down. Except, no we wont.”
And then one of our daughters is murdered.
And I’m left standing before the world trying to tell them that I…. I hate this. I’m disappointed in our leader’s lack of action that has resulted in the death of an innocent child.
Over and over and over again. It’s like we aren’t learning. We aren’t seeing that this man isn’t going to protect us. He isn’t going to do his job. His ONE job is to lead this country, and instead he’s sitting in his big house at his big desk saying “It’s just drama. It’s nothing to be worried about. They’re just kids. They’re the JV team!” Like it’s just a game to them. They might be the JV team, but they’re kidnapping the varsity cheerleaders and slitting their throats.
When is my President going to open his eyes and realize that American lives matter? When is THAT going to be trending on Twitter, straight from the President himself?
Because don’t they? Don’t American lives matter, Mister President? Then act like it! Show the world that American lives matter!
You have the strongest, most effective military at your fingertips, Mister President. You have a class of warriors at your command for exactly this: protecting your country from people like ISIS. We’ve seen what they can and will do. We’ve witnessed their capacity for torture and their unwillingness to abide by the playground rules. It’s time to stand up the Marines and the soldiers and order the planes and ships to deliver your unwavering message that “the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible”. That is what you told Miss Mueller’s parents, isn’t it? Then do it!
My daughter came home from school today. She was in a good mood, but needed to talk. The girl who has been causing the problems got into serious trouble, and sought her out during their free time. She, alongside another girl who was taking part in the bullying, approached my daughter and apologized for her behavior.
She expressed sorrow for her actions because they’d resulted in a punishment.