A boy from my kids’ high school was shot dead this past weekend. It didn’t happen at school, nevertheless, officials with metal detectors were on campus bright and early Monday morning.
Now, my boys are knife lovers. They pore over magazines about knives and our computer monitoring software is always warning me about visits to sites showcasing knives, swords and other various sharp objects. But they know better than to bring one to school. But I still frequently worry that they’ll forget they’ve stuck one in their pocket as they get ready for school, simply out of habit. Hasn’t happened yet, but the risk is there.
And unfortunately, for a friend of my son’s, that risk grew bones when he was caught that Monday morning with a pocketknife on campus. For now, he’s serving a 10-day suspension. There’s still a possibility that he could be expelled. What a shame that would be. He’s a good kid. But, as my son put it, he’s an idiot.
A young marine I know could have served as a VIP motorcade driver. His teenage driving record, however, wasn’t up to snuff. Too many moving violations. His love for speed as a teen tripped him up too many times. He wasn’t chosen for that position.
Another friend of mine stumbled just one time and had premarital sex. The result? A beautiful baby, but a changed life as a rushed wedding followed.
Do those who speed always get caught? Obviously not. Does every sexual encounter lead to pregnancy? Again, obviously not. Does every student who knowingly—or forgetfully—brings a knife on campus get busted for it? No. But why run the risk? As the saying goes, If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.
My 6th grade class takes a field trip every year to a local serpentarium. The owner has been bit 17 times by poisonous snakes. Twice, he’s almost died. His hands are gnarled and bent and stubby because of his encounters with these dangerous serpents. Does he get bit every time he handles one? No. He thinks the job is worth the risks.
Is the risk of expulsion worth bringing a knife on campus?
Is the risk of unplanned teenage pregnancy, even if you’re practicing so called safe sex, worth the momentary thrill?
I’m praying for my son’s friend, that the administration will look at his record and determine that the suspension has been enough of a lesson. I’m also praying that this has been a sobering experience for my boys. That maybe they’ll make doubly sure they’re not inadvertently carrying a knife on campus.
I trust my boys not to do something stupid, but I also know that they are boys, and they are teenagers, and they don’t always think things through. Better that they are forewarned so that they may be forearmed.
Knives. Cars. Sex. In and of themselves, not so risky. But use them in a way not intended by God and/or law and you chance encountering a life-altering situation.
Is it worth it?
photo from http://www.news.bbc.co.uk