POINT OF VIEW: Parkland shooting opens old wounds


It’s been almost 18 years since I lived through a school shooting. My good friend, Barry Grunow, was murdered on the last day of school by a student who brought a gun onto our campus. The recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has opened up some old wounds.

Do the people I worked with know how much and how often I think about them? Do Barry’s kids know how much I valued and honored their dad? Does Pam (Barry’s widow) know how often my heart breaks for Barry’s absence in her life? Do the students I taught after the shooting know how much they are in my prayers? Do the students I teach now know the reasons why I am so nosy? Do my own children know how much I love them? Does the public know that the last day of school will always cause a crazy combination of aggression, fear, loss, hope, and courage in my soul?

>> 18 years after a teacher’s murder, some Palm Beach County classrooms still have doors that don’t lock

That day changed so much about my life and I realize now that we all have different callings. For some of you, it may be politics, some mental health, some children, some something else. I ask that if you find that this shooting has caused a fire in you, then find a way to get involved. Don’t just talk about it. There is so much to be done.

If your passion is politics, then get involved and vote, lobby, campaign, protest, organize; if it’s your children, then talk with (not just to) them, listen to them, ask questions, support them, know their friends and their interests, monitor their social media. If it’s children in general, volunteer at schools to mentor students, get out in your neighborhoods and meet people, help teachers; if it’s mental health, research, learn, ask questions, volunteer.

>> Father of Parkland victim: ‘I don’t know what I do next’

I don’t have all the answers, but I know that when I decided that I would continue teaching, I did so with a pledge to my friend Barry’s legacy in and out of the classroom. Every year, I conquer my fears, I make sure my students feel honored, valued, safe. I make sure they get help when they need it. I attend their sporting events, sponsor them, mentor them, stick up for them, go to court for them, stand beside them when they make bad decisions. And I still question if I’m doing enough.

I ultimately wrote this because the pain is just beginning for the people affected by the Parkland shooting and it would be great if we could all find an active role in helping them heal from this tragedy – because almost 18 years later, the wounds are still tender.

Dorothy Ryan Schroader, WEST PALM BEACH

Editor’s note: Schroader is a teacher at Santaluces High School in Lantana.




Next Up in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: Youth need community support as they go back to school

As a parent, certain days stand out as significant: days in which our role seems to take on special meaning, and days in which our presence and support are especially important and appreciated by our children. The first day of school is always one of these days. Sign up for The Palm Beach Post FREE weekly Opinion newsletter: Text Opinion to 444999...
Opinion: Partying like it’s 1998

And now for something completely similar. For a while, those of us who devoted a lot of time to understanding the Asian financial crisis two decades ago were wondering whether Turkey was going to stage a re-enactment. Sure enough, that’s what seems to be happening. Here’s the script: start with a country that, for whatever reason, became...
Letters Post made informed choices possible

Post made informed choices possible Having recently moved to Florida, my wife and I found the primary ballot to be a daunting challenge. With so many candidates, how is one possibly able to make an educated choice? Sure, we were inundated with telephone calls and emails, but that’s just paid political advertising. So we were very grateful to...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW DANA SUMMERS
Editorial:We need a more aggressive approach on rape kits
Editorial:We need a more aggressive approach on rape kits

Zero. That’s the most telling, and arguably damning number in a July 22 Palm Beach Post story on the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office’s $1 million project to clear a backlog of some 1,500 unanalyzed rape evidence kits that had been sitting on its shelves for as long as 40 years. While it is admirable that the PBSO embarked on this...
More Stories