Now that I have stopped crying, have attended the Million Mom March
and have paid tribute to the lives of young people murdered by the
violent acts of other young people, now that the anger against all of the
parents who "lack parenting skills," their "ignorant children" and the
"incompetent teachers" has subsided, now that I am finished cursing my
luck for having been born an Armenian and for having had to experience
the ordeal of an immigrant, now that I have counted all of the faults of
Latinos and other minorities living around me, I have to think about the
pressing question of why this happens and what should be done about it,
because I am a mother of children who attend American public schools, and
I am a public school teacher who cares for every young life.
My thoughts at times are with the families of the children responsible
for this crime. Since they, too, have suffered a loss; they have lost
their young children to violence and crime just like the Aguirre family.
As a parent, I have a hard time believing that any parent dreams of the
day when his or her child commits a crime and feels proud of that moment.
Have they done all that's possible for a parent to do to assure that the
children are responsible, loving and caring human beings? I do not know.
Would they have like to? I am sure they would. As I hear commentator
after commentator asking the question "Where were the parents of those
children?" I try to imagine. And as an Armenian from an immigrant family
I can perhaps make a guess and not be far off.
LOOKING FOR A BETTER LIFE
Most immigrants arrive in America with hopes of creating better living
conditions, better futures for their children and with the determination
to make it in a democratic country where they assume they will be given a
fair new start. However, as soon as they arrive the reality strikes.
People, many of them with higher education degrees, find themselves
washing dishes, serving tables, repairing cars or making molds for
jewelers in downtown. Having escaped poverty back home, most of them do