Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Going back to school isn’t what it used to be.

I don’t actually miss having kids in school. I would not want to be a parent with kids in school right now. Look at what moms have to do to protect their kids these days! I can’t even imagine the stress and fear of sending my children out the door knowing that 93 school shootings took place in the last school year; according to US News & World Report, “more school shootings with casualties occurred during the 2020-21 school year than in any other year since data collection began.” How do you send your kids out the door?

Back to School Prep Is More than Just School Clothes Shopping

When I watched this video for the first time, I couldn’t even finish it. I started bawling and that was that. This isn’t about gun rights or the Second Amendment (I mean, it is, but I’m not here to argue; to me there is no argument).

This is about moms and dads having to teach their kids how to survive in what amounts to a war zone.

@thewaltonfamily1 Happy back to school season…. #foryoupage #backtoschool #foryou #needschange #PostitAffirmations #momiktok ♬ L$d – Luclover

Times Have Changed

We worried about bullies. About teachers following 504 and IEP guidelines. About too much homework. About balancing after school activities with family time. About having to attend 500 different choir concerts. We didn’t worry about our kids getting shot. Even when they first started doing lockdown drills, we likened it to the fire raid drills they used to have during the Cold War – something you prepared for but didn’t really think would happen.



We did not have to worry about gun violence, not in the way parents do today.

I’m not even sure I could cope.

My own daughter and her husband have opted to raise their kids in England rather than try to navigate the threats that exist in schools. It’s not just guns, although that is certainly the most serious. But it’s also decades of neglect for our teachers, who are treated not as the well-educated professionals they are but as no more than low-paid babysitters heaped with responsibility, obligation, and compliance requirements – all while dealing with parents.

I used to love back to school time. There was a sense of renewal and wonder. Even when I wasn’t in school, it was the time of year when I reevaluated my life and goals. Now, I just worry about when the shootings will begin.