On Friday, a shooter killed ten people in a high school in Texas. Amongst the two teachers and eight students killed was a girl named Shana Fisher. In an interview, Fisher's mother alleged that the shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, had been harassing her daughter for months.
She said that Fisher had rejected him many times, but he kept asking her out. In her mother's words, Fisher "embarrassed" him in class and within a week, he had killed her and others in the school, with the alleged intention of doing more. Pagourtzis also brought explosive devices that malfunctioned on site. He is currently in police custody.
NEW: The Santa Fe High School gunman killed a classmate, Shana Fisher, who had turned down his advances, her mother tells us. Shana finally stood up to him and embarrassed him in class, and "a week later he opens fire on everyone he didn't like." https://t.co/clHL0gO6zP— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) May 20, 2018
There are many conversations being had about gun control and school safety. GOP legislators are of course arguing for pretty much everything except making guns less accessible—for instance, the state governor is suggesting schools should have fewer doors, and that would keep kids safe. Unless there's a fire.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says there are too many entrances and exits to schools, and that is why shootings are able to happen. "Had there been one single entrance possibly for every student, maybe he would have been stopped."— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) May 18, 2018
But a conversation sparked by Fisher's story is what we tell young boys about what they're owed from women.
To be clear, they're owed nothing. Absolutely zero. However, we don't teach boys that. We teach them to wear women down. Twitter user @adigoesswimming has definitely had enough of that.
Quoting the Fisher's mother, she started a thread about what she said to her nephew who got rejected by a girl he liked.
My teenage nephew told me he asked a girl out and she turned him down. I said, "You know what to do now, right?" He said, "I know I know keep trying" and I said "NO. LEAVE HER ALONE. She gave you an answer." He was shocked. NO ONE had told him that before. TEACH. YOUR. BOYS. https://t.co/yrxjNRnfk5— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
According to @adigoesswimming, no one had ever told her nephew that when a girl says she isn't interested, you leave her alone. You do not keep asking over and over until she concedes.
Admirably, @adigoesswimming is trying to respond to the many people attracted to her tweet. It's a bit of a hot button issue.
Keep trying: work on yourself and find a girl who does like him. If first girl changes her mind, she'll let him know.— Leslietfj (@leslietfj) May 20, 2018
He's a great kid and the right person will see that. She wasn't the right fit, but oh well. No harm in that for either of them.— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
But he has an aunt who can TEACH him. What a gift. And we should all downplay high school crushes, which leave such an imprint but are the product of very unformed ideas about character, romance, love, and life's possibilities as well as brains that aren't done growing.— L J Platt (@ljordanplatt) May 20, 2018
I don't know that downplaying them is the answer. They feel so intense and heartbreaking and kids' feelings should be respected. But unrequited love is part of life and it can be a lesson in self-care while respecting others.— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
In her opinion, learning to deal with being rejected is part of growing up, and a lot of people are not learning this as kids.
There is also a long connection between domestic violence and mass shooters. It's often cited as a sign that there is worse to come, but women are often not given the support they need in domestic violence situations or heard when they warn police.
This isn't the first school shooting because of an ex or spurned advances.... It's such a shame...— Inhospitable Womb (@misstomrstomom) May 20, 2018
No. Domestic violence, and the precursors to, are so often the root.— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
Some people think that the problem is what kids are taught in movies about what romance looks like:
Good for you! People cling to some "romantic" notion that if you try and try that shows true love or some such nonsense. Blame hollywood.— Abby (@AbbyK_UIC) May 20, 2018
Time to change Hollywood, too. More women in charge.— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
And some people think that kids should figure it out on their own:
I don't know though, the thought of adults telling teenagers how to approach each other makes me uncomfortable. It seems a little overbearing.— Alfredo Louro (@LouroAlfredo) May 20, 2018
It's called raising children and being a good influence. He came to me for advice.— 🌹 Witch, Hunting 💀 (@adigoesswimming) May 20, 2018
Am raising my three boys to hear and accept No from girls without reacting nastily to rejection. Them feeling like it's overbearing doesn't change my parental responsibility to teach it to them. It's essential that they learn this skill.— Maro Virino (@Maro_Virino) May 20, 2018
Our just-a-teenager really wishes we wouldn’t talk to him about safe sex stuff and consent because it’s embarrassing, but he’s getting the conversation anyway because he needs it. Too bad for him.— Kris (@piratefoxy) May 20, 2018
There area lot of uncomfortable talks that need to be had with kids to make sure they have realistic and respectful relationships as they grow older.
No means no. Don't try to qualify it.