Florida Teacher of the Year on Gun Violence: Parents Need to ‘Step Up’ and Control Their Kids’ Behavior

A demonstrator demands action against gun violence during a vigil held for the 17 people k

A Florida middle school teacher who was named Teacher of the Year at her school said that parents need to “step up” and control their kids’ behavior.

Kelly Guthrie Raley, who was selected as Eustis Middle School’s Teacher of the Year 2017-2018 last month, wrote on Facebook Thursday in a now-viral post that as an educator, the lack of compassion and increase in violence she has noticed among students are caused by a “lack of parental support”:

“Parents, it’s time to step up!” Raley wrote, adding:

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.

Raley’s message went viral; as of Saturday afternoon, her post had been shared more than 573,000 times—after a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.

The sixth-grade teacher added that when she began her teaching career 20 years ago, she never had to worry about parents getting angry at her or threatening her publicly because she brought up issues with their children’s behavior.

She said the trend of parents not wanting to take responsibility for their children’s behavior has to change if violence in the classroom is to be stopped.

Despite the many cries for gun control in light of the shooting, Raley said her post was not meant to push for gun control, but to encourage parents to love their children and students to show respect for one another.

“This post wasn’t about gun control,” she said. “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.”


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