Why do we need to know why?

Usually, I hide my thoughts behind satire and humor – an attempt to disguise my jabs and punches directed toward the powers which drive public opinion and emotional response to a tragedy. But, today, I will write connected. 

Today, I will write with personal knowledge. 

Who is responsible for our children in school?

What are these individuals’ responsibilities?

How should these individuals be disciplined when they have failed at protecting the children?

After a tragedy, the question is always – why?

Why did this happen? A question that forces the mind into lamenting. A state of mind that does not work towards answers but dwells tirelessly on unanswerable questions and placates emotions. 

The question of why reduces the emotional response and slowly allows the impact of the incident to fade.  

Why? – a time-wasting question? Why? – is a pointless pursuit. Why? – is meaningless to prevent future tragedy. 

How? – is the correct question. 

How did this tragedy happen? 

Objective answers are born from how questions. Objective answers create definitive solutions. Definitive solutions correct the error and solve problems. 

Therefore, answers to “how” questions make “why” questions disappear. 

Why do we fear “how” questions?

Often, ” how ” questions do not shift blame, whereas “why” questions allow individuals to find fault in others.

“Why”- questions lead to blame games. These subjective solutions arrive on the scene eager to produce division and are often labeled “political .” Moreover, “why” is elastic and malleable. Easily manipulable in the hands of cultural, political, or dogmatic forces. 

“How” questions do not bend.

How did the individual enter the building? Through an unlocked door? Was the do supposed to be unlocked? Whose responsibility was it to lock the door? Easy questions with simple answers. Answers can create responses that will limit tragedy. 

So much more straightforward than “why.”

Maybe if we focus on the “How,” the “why” will not be asked someday. 

Just as a bartender is responsible for the actions of an over-served patron,  an administrator is responsible for students’ behaviors. 

Let’s, for a moment, return to the “why” question. Why did an individual do such a horrific act? 

Again, an asinine question. 

“How” did the individual arrive at such a state of mind?  

The “how” question could produce accurate answers. 

I challenge the schools and administrators to look at the disregarded discipline referrals or the redirected cries from teachers. What will be found are the answers to why these tragedies happen. Will we see a progression of discipline referrals that sat in administrator inboxes? Will, we will find a multitude of instances of threats and bullying. Will, we will discover administrators whose responses to teachers are “have you called the parent?”. Will, we will find crumbling builds with broken locks and lackadaisical School Resource Officers. Will we find days-upon days of in-school suspensions for children and young adults with mental illnesses? 

Will, we find a million answers to “how” did this happen? 

As for the why, one can only surmise that it lacks attention to these details. The detail that are the duties of the school principals and administrators are those individuals who should be criminally liable for the safety of the children. 


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