A Facebook post from a Florida middle school educator who was named teacher of the year has gone viral following the mass school shooting last week. In it, she issues a challenge to parents and talks about God's intentions.
Kelly Guthrie Raley, who according to Fox News was named last month as the Eustis Middle School Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018, wrote a lengthy post on Facebook last week addressing various problems parents and children need to deal with in the wake of such violence.
Admitting that she will be perceived as the "bad guy" for her opinions, Raley called for America "to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for those suffering from 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," along with reality TV and violent video games.
The post, which reflects on the killing of 17 people, mostly students, by teenager Nikolas Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, has been liked over 850,000 times as of Tuesday morning, and shared over 720,000 times.
In it, the teacher warns that children do not understand "the permanency of death" anymore.
She points out that she grew up with guns, but her parents practiced strict discipline and monitored her activities, which she did not enjoy, but now understands why.
"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," Raley declared.
"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."
The teacher added that she doesn't want to debate gun control, and all she wants is what is best for people.
"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," she continued.
Raley said that she isn't afraid to challenge parents despite the pushback she receives.
"Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?" she asked.
Students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have meanwhile also taken adults to task, though have focused on politicians who they say have failed to address school violence and protect America's children.
"We're going to do a march on Washington. Students all over the country are going to be joining up, because the adults have let us down. The people that we put into power who should be working for us, they have us working for them," said senior student Emma Gonzalez on CBS News' "Face The Nation."
The "March for Our Lives" is scheduled for March 24 in Washington, D.C. with students and supporters from across the country expected to participate.