The time has arrived where we are now being asked to accept people’s stories for “WHY I DIDN’T DO MY JOB.” Seriously. The time has arrived. Well, I am going to do my job and hope you will join me in doing your job, as well.
I cannot stand by and allow a high school senior tell me there is a reason for a person not do their job. I am not here to bash any one person. The President has been doing that and that is not the answer either. But, to sit back and allow a high school student defending someone not doing their job is frustrating. Even he doesn’t have all the information to give such a defense.
When I am hired to teach music at a high school, any high school, I am expected to have students learn how to read / play music. Now, here is part of the challenge in doing the job … are the students who are signing up for my music class coming in with the same expectation (their job), “I (the student) am going to learn how to read / play music.” Or is it, “Mr. Everts better teach me how to read / play music or else he is a crappy teacher.” See. There are too many people telling me they want to read / play music but aren’t willing to work / do their job. And then, we get to hear all the reasons (excuses to me) for why they are unable to read / play music. And rarely … rarely … does the high school student who fails reading / playing music share any blame in their failure. Following my twenty-minutes of going over the three-to-four songs with the guitar class, I bet you can guess what most of the students do with the remaining sixty-minutes of their class time?
This mentality of rarely blaming oneself / accepting the blame for failure or not doing the job is creeping into the adult world. The officer … and there appears to be more than one officer … who did not engage the “evil” at MSDHS is now being “saved” / defended by a high school senior. A high school senior who is asking us to understand what the officer was going through at the time! “Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a glock? And I know that’s what these police officers are supposed to do, but they’re people too,” he (MSDHS Student) added. And people make mistakes and need to be held accountable to their mistakes. Where is that part of the MSDHS student’s statement? Also, side note … it is now “glock” being brought into the picture; not just the “AR-15.” Interesting. Remember: the officer is paid / trained to overcome what he was going through at the time.
My students are being paid (earn a grade) and being trained to overcome the difficulty of the music and / or overcome their anxiety of performing. In fact, we just had a performance at a festival and I have guilt that my students performed at a lesser than stellar level (according to the adjudicators). I accept a share in the score my students earn. I am also teaching them to accept their share of the score as well.
Every tragedy / negative event in our lives (something as “simple” as poorly performing in a concert to the unimaginable events on February 14, 2018, gives us an opportunity to grow). When I shared the headline with my students: SHERIFF: DEPUTY ON DUTY DURING PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING NEVER WENT INSIDE, HAS RESIGNED… we discussed the issue in the “frame” of: DO YOUR JOB. That’s it… DO YOUR JOB. I brought up the four words our school use as a “unifier” for us: RESPECT; RESPONSIBILITY; INTEGRITY; ENGAGEMENT. One of my high school freshmen was able to use how this officer’s decision did not represent the “four words.” I WAS AND AM PROUD OF HIM! I didn’t give the example. HE DID!
Now, on the Sunday talk shows, here is a survivor telling us “He — just like every other police officer out there at heart — is a good person. He didn’t take action in this event, and I can’t explain why … there are no words to explain why he wouldn’t take action to take out this individual, but I think it’s a good example of if he didn’t take action and four others didn’t, I mean, who does?” student David Hogg said in an interview on MSNBC. He being a “good person” isn’t part of the deal, sir. I would rather have a physician with poor beside manner / a jerk if you will have an impeccable success rate as a surgeon then a “good person” who has a less than stellar success rate. This (he is a good person) is not the “thinking” we need leading our nation.
We need to forgive the officer. We need to hope and yes PRAY he will recover from his terrible ineffectiveness. AT THE SAME TIME, we need to hold him accountable for not doing his job. The new thing in today’s world is “stop blaming people.” Blame is assigning responsibility for a fault or wrong. The officer has a great / strong thirty-year career (so I have been told). If that is the case, the officer does know he has to take the blame for not doing his job which was to accept the responsibility to protect the students, respect his role, be true to himself (integrity) and engage the “evil.”
We need to hold one another accountable for doing the job. We need to hold ourselves accountable. I am holding myself accountable RIGHT NOW for responding to the MSDHS student in his “defense” of the officer’s inaction. There may be many reasons for Officer Peterson and others doing “absolutely nothing.” For now, as of February 25, 2018 … 1:25pm … we don’t have reasons, but the words of Broward County Sheriff Israel: “But what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position — and he never went in.” I believe in end results. In the end, Officer Peterson did nothing. Also, the process is extremely important. There are times when we underestimate the process and overestimate the results. In this horrific example, hundreds / thousands of lives are changed because of poor process led to dramatically poorer results.