‘My heart is shattered’

Dear Editor:

RE: CWDHS student charged in assault that sent fellow student to hospital, Oct. 14.

It’s Thanksgiving weekend. A time for families to come together to join in fellowship and joy. To celebrate all that they are thankful for and with any luck remember for a moment the history behind this national holiday.

For me, this year, there is a particular irony, I am both relieved and at the same time horrified that one of the things I am thankful for is the notion that is was not my child that was brutally attacked last week at Centre Wellington District High School in Fergus.

At the same time my heart is shattered that this has happened to somebody’s child. I can’t imagine the heartache of trying to provide comfort as a parent to a battered and broken child who you love and want to protect. Looking into the eyes of the same child you nurtured in your womb, held in your arms, celebrated their first words and steps and relished in every stage of their development.

Sharing in their joy, supporting them through all their trials and tribulations incumbent with the human condition. Imagine for one moment that this was your child.

I was appalled to discover that for every parent who expressed their horror at these events there were as many parents who voiced their support of this brutality. You should be ashamed of yourself. If we ever needed evidence that the student body in our school systems are a microcosm of the societal values represented in the community at large we need look no further.

We cannot and will not move forward as a society if we fail, at the very least, to have a dialogue about intolerance and prejudice. This is not just about the LGBTQ+ community, it’s about any marginalized community or group, whether is be race, religion, gender, sexuality, nationality, disability or any affiliation that the mainstream views as “different”.

One of the most disturbing elements of this story is the fact that many bystanders stood by and watched this viciousness. Really? Are we to understand that there weren’t enough onlookers who could have come together as a group and restrained these attackers, two people? In the time it took for them to take out their phones to memorialize the event, surely somebody could have intervened. We really need to examine our shared responsibility as a society, as a community and as a member of a civilized humanity when we reflect on this.

I always say, the hand that rocks the cradle shapes the world. Children come to us as blank slates with plastic brains that are moulded and influenced by those parenting them. We need to do better.

As long as we continue to proselytize this type of hatred, bigotry and intolerance we are failing future generations. Do better!

Janet Sirianni,