ERIC Number: EJ771345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
"Kinder than the Dickens": Thoughts on Forgiveness
Showalter, Shirley H.
Reclaiming Children and Youth: The Journal of Strength-based Interventions, v16 n2 p35-36 Sum 2007
The school shootings of October 2006 arrested the world's attention. The contrast of innocence and violence, the mystery of the shooters' motivations, the fact that there were five school shooting in six weeks--all of these were factors, but none can compare to the strength of the families who chose to forgive and their witness under fire. Through this tragedy in a one-room schoolhouse in Pennsylvania, the Amish, in particular, showed the results of nearly 500 years of educating the human heart. News stories reported that members of the Amish community almost immediately proffered forgiveness to the shooter Charles Carl Roberts IV and his family. Also, the shooting in Bailey, Colorado, in which Emily Keyes was killed became the subject of a Dateline segment because her family, too, offered forgiveness to the family of the dead shooter and to the law enforcement officials who made the decision to go into the school. The Keyes family took inspiration from their young daughter's life and final text message to them, "I love you guys" to shift the response of their community from one that might have been vengeful and angry to a community that offered love and messages of hope and kindness. This article points out that kindness, love, and forgiveness can be taught as shown from the two incidents described. This article emphasizes that there is a need to see, hear, tell, and feel more stories of the power of love and forgiveness. Communities need to support parents and schools. If more young people experience adults as "kinder than the dickens," more children like Emily Keyes may be produced and fewer adults like Charles Carl Roberts IV and Duane Morrison.
Descriptors: Religious Cultural Groups, Altruism, School Safety, School Security, Violence, Ethical Instruction, Ethics, Moral Values, Prevention, Prosocial Behavior, Psychological Patterns, Interpersonal Relationship, Social Attitudes, Death
Crisis Prevention Institute. Circulation Department, 3315 North 124th Street Suite H, Brookfield, WI 53005. Tel: 800-285-7910; Fax: 262-783-2360; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.crisisprevention.com/store/reference/rcy.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado; Pennsylvania