FL 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year Bluntly Explains Why School Violence Is Out of Control!

Kelly Guthrie Raley has been teaching for 20 years and currently educates kids at Eustis Middle School in Lake County, Florida.

2018 Teacher of the year

The day after the horrific shooting that took place at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Kelly posted this rant on Facebook that has since gone viral. It is short, not very sweet and certainly hits the nail on the head!

In the post, she talked about parental responsibility, compassion, and respect…and more than 823,000 people have “liked” the post and agreed with it, while more than 649,000 have shared it with others.

Here’s what Mrs. Raley had to say.

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. 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.

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.

Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. 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 ass 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. 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.

I’ll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine…it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I 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.

It’s about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. 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 I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over FaceBook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school…because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?

Backback Max

Cherly Study Buddies Colored ILLS

Now for this editors two cents! Kelly is absolutely rights on all counts and I couldn’t have said it any better. We both grew up before parents starting taking the “It’s All About Me” attitude. In addition, if you slam a teacher or a principal with “Not My Child” you think you can remove yourself from any and all responsibility.

WARNING: If you aren’t willing to dedicate 18 full-time years to each and every child you have, then don’t have any!

Having children like being married are full-time jobs and require a sense of decency and respect not only for others but most certainly for themselves. They must be taught the difference between right and wrong and for Heaven’s sake as you are NOT supposed to be their friend but their parent, the punishment should be a rule of thumb AND don’t threaten punishment if you don’t intend to follow through.

I not talking about corporal punishment but when your child does something they know they aren’t supposed to and you tell them they can’t go to the party you previously said they could, you don’t change your mind and say yes they can go just because of some whining and begging.

NO is supposed to mean NO, not yes because I want to be your friend or because it interferes with your plans! Our country has basically lost 2 generations as of this date and what do we have, kids on the streets protesting for something they actually don’t understand.

You want your children to LOVE you but RESPECT must come first.


Children – To Those Of Us Who Love Them!

Good Afternoon,

I am doing something a little different today since I witnessed something today that opened my eyes.  I have gotten a part-time job with Hallmark – you know – the ladies you see in the store restocking the cards!  It doesn’t pay a whole lot but then you are basically your own boss – work alone.  However it is frustrating that every time you go into the store, some little munchkin has played “mix the cards up” , “go fish” or “52 card pick-up and I do spend more time straightening up than re-stocking.  It amazes me thinking that Mom or Dad comes into the store to shop and let’s their children run free in the store to make this mess.  I tell myself no decent parent would stand there and “watch” their child basically destroy the merchandise.  But then –

Like the proverbial light bulb going off I thought, Girl what do you expect with all these “kids are having kids.”  The parents haven’t even grown up yet!  They haven’t had their fun time yet – maybe didn’t graduate from high school and are now thrown into the world of parenthood and in a majority of cases, single parenthood. You have a baby while still a baby how do you know how to raise a child?  They certainly do not issue you a manual when you have a baby.  I think young parents decide they have 2 choices, ignore the actions of your kids completely and  harass  the rest of the world or let them learn at an early age that if they whine enough, you will eventually give in.  Since the parents today mostly are still children themselves they haven’t learned respect – for themselves, for others or for their property – so how can they teach their children respect?

I want to publicly at this time tell our children how very proud we are of them – our grandchildren too!  We have this wonderful  blended family and it is surprising to me that we both think so alike about raising children. Both sets of children are smart, respectful, intelligent and loving. They are great parents, get up every day and go to work (yes thankfully, they still have jobs) and though a few of them have gone through some roughs times, they pulled up their boot straps, brushed themselves off and moved onward and upward!  This goes for their respective spouses also!  The great-grandchild (3 and one on the way) has started the family road and we think they are both doing pretty good.They both are learning the parent thing!

For our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren I would like to say:

We wish for you the gift of wisdom – this does not come with birth but is learned over the passing years by the experiences of you and others

We wish for you success – always remember this only has true value to you or others if it is earned

We wish for you happiness – settle but find your own – no one can give you happiness – find what makes you happy & in turn you will make others happy

Seek your dreams – start small and grow – remember all the stages a butterfly goes through before it matures

Listen to your heart  – true heart feeling will never leave doubt or questions

Be curious – knowledge is a gift but you do need to search for it – it will not search for you

Be heard – your opinions are important but always remember the opinions of others are important too – learn to listen – just hearing will not give you knowledge

Appreciate yourself & others – be kind to yourself and then others will as well – never satisfy for seconds

Make the very most of every day – smell the roses – bath in the sunshine – learn to dance in the rain – each day is a new wonder

Learn to love yourself – if you do not neither will others – retain your individual spirit in being yourself – you were made special

Retain your childhood grace and spirit for adventure – even the simple things in life can make you happy if you share it with those you love

Always remember – being a friend means accepting the things you cannot change for better or for worse and they will return that 10 fold

Stay in touch with younger generations, they will keep you young – learn from the older ones, they will help you to not make the same mistakes they did

Learn to overlook the little things – it is those that will create the most heartache – dirty socks on the floor or the toilet seat up or down are not the worst things in the world

There will be days when you don’t like your husband/wife or children very much but you will still love them

Never go to bed angry and never be afraid to say you are sorry even if you think you are right

Learn to recognize that you probably are learning at least one new thing a day – in fact make it a goal

Marriage is a full time job no matter how many years you are married

Parenting is very hard work and sometimes it will bring you to tears – hopefully there will be another lesson learned

You cannot raise your children into what you want them to be – again the butterfly – give them their wings

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … It’s about learning to weather the storm and to dance in the rain

Laugh insanely, Love truly, Forgive quickly and Pray daily

Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know you.

Always remember we love you with the force of our very being!  We are proud of you and wish you only the very best!