Lukuvuosi 2007 - 2008

Robert Thompson opetti Haukiputaan lukiossa lukuvuoden 2006 - 2007. Tuusulan murhenäytelmän (7.11.2007) jälkeen hän lähetti koululle seuraavan kirjeen: 


Dear Haukiputaan Lukio,

The news of the school shooting in Jokela has been felt here in the states quite deeply, and myself, my friends and colleagues here would like to express our sympathies to all Finns.  It is truly a tragic event that none should have to face.  Personally, the event has struck me quite hard-Finland and Finnish education is a paradise to me-a goal to work towards and an ideal to uphold-and now both have been viciously violated. 

Unfortunately, this kind of tragedy is all too familiar to us in the U.S., and yet, we have no real answers to the how's and why's of such violence.  Nor have we arrived at any real and lasting solutions as to how to prevent such violence in the future.  It is my hope that, in typical Finnish fashion, your country takes the long and deeper view on possible solutions and seeks to adopt policies and approaches that encourage openness and inclusion in hopes of addressing the underlying causes.

People will ask "Why?" and "How?" and ponder, "When might this happen again?" Such questions must be asked and answers must be wisely addressed.  I believe in my country, when we have been faced with the same questions, we have allowed fear to drive our answers instead of reason and compassion.  Our response has been to add metal detectors, intruder alerts, hostage drills, lock-downs, and search dogs.  We have barricaded ourselves in and created an atmosphere of distrust within our society-I believe we have further isolated our youth.  We have come to fear our children somewhat.

Likely, fear has struck deeply into the hearts and minds of Finns and the educational community in particular.  Teachers and students must wonder, "Can it happen here?"  Fear may be a healthy response for an immediate threat, but in the long view, it has the potential to lead towards isolation, exclusion, suspicion, anger...and more fear and violence.  Allowing fear to drive the decisions you and your decision-makers must face, only fosters the climate from which this act was created.  We should not fear our youth, they are merely reflections of ourselves and the society we have chosen for them.  My thoughts are with you.

With a heavy heart,