Monday, July 15, 2024

Even in Libby

| September 12, 2023 7:00 AM

Dear Editor,

“I never thought it could happen here,” something you often hear after a school shooting.

Sadly it can, and almost did in Libby almost 30 years ago.

In the mid 1990s, in what ended up being my son’s last day of school in Libby, he awoke in tears. Ready to walk out of the door, armed with his father’s loaded .45 semi-automatic pistol.

He told me he was ready to “Stop it.” Stop the school “gang” who had bullied, picked on and consistently orchestrated “beat downs” of him on an almost daily basis. “Stop the beatings,” because he couldn’t take anymore of the humiliation, the taunts or the cruelty.

Through his tears, he told me of his intention to use the .45, because he didn’t know what else to do.

I immediately pulled him from school and attempted to work with the principal, the administration, the teachers and finally the school board ~ all to no avail.

We ended up leaving town and settling in a city, two states away.

School shootings are a relatively new phenomenon, bullying is not ~ it’s as old as humankind and his was not an isolated incident.

Talk to your kids. If they are being bullied or are the bullies, don’t let it slide.

And if you still think, “it couldn’t happen” in Libby, think again.

LaBeth Cann Spain

Bellingham, Washington