Just last month, Kelly Guthrie Raley was named teacher of the year at Eustis Middle School in Eustis, Florida. Now, in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, she has many across the country wishing she was teaching in their district, too.
In a Facebook post Friday, Raley issued a three-word challenge to parents to “be their parent” and not coddle children or be their buddy.
She did it even though she knew how hostile liberals can be on social media.
“Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say,” Raley wrote in a post that’s gone viral. “I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.”
Raley — herself an active hunter, according to Fox News — said that the blame didn’t lie with firearms, but instead with mental health issues and lenient parenting.
“Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school,” Raley wrote. “Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!”
“I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that,” Raley wrote.
“But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my a** out.
“My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules,” she continued. “They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything!
“Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough ‘friends’ at school.
“Be their parent. Being the ‘cool mom’ means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME.”
Raley noted that she “didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures.”
Raleuy, named teacher of the year for 2017-2018 at Eustis Middle School last month, noted that it was “about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career.” Her middle school is about 200 miles from where last week’s shooting took place, but the conditions she describes are commonplace in modern American life.
“Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn’t this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because” that parent would curse her out, Raley wrote.
“Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?”
Absolutely. Perfect. And over 637,000 people agreed.
There were so many things that went wrong that led to the Parkland shooting, yet almost none of them will get brought up by the left or the media (redundant, I know), who merely repeat the phrase “gun control” as a kind of mantra, convinced that using it as a bludgeon against Second Amendment advocates without advancing any concrete policy that would stop school shootings is a sound electoral tactic.
Raley is 100 percent right about what’s happened in just the past 20 years, however — although it’s been going on for for longer. Americans have stopped parenting our children, stopped disciplining them. We’ve stopped caring if anything is wrong, convinced it’s merely the system that’s gotten it all wrong.
How much of that was to blame for the Parkland shooting? It will be a long time before we know where everything really went wrong, but the signs were there. There are plenty of voices that need to be heard in the aftermath of this tragedy. One of those should definitely be this teacher of the year.
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