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Florida teacher Facebook post over gun violence goes viral
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Florida teacher Facebook post over gun violence goes viral

A woman who was voted Teacher of the Year at a Florida middle school has posted a Facebook message saying parents need to 'step up' when it comes to their children's behavior.

Kelly Guthrie Raley, 41, was named Eustis Middle School Teacher of the Year last month and has spoken out in a now-viral Facebook post following the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

'Okay, I'll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say,'  Raley begins.  

Kelly Guthrie Raley, 41, was named 'Teacher of the Year' at her Florida school

Kelly Guthrie Raley, 41, was named 'Teacher of the Year' at her Florida school

'Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the 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 (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I'll say it – violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others' lives – as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others' faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school,' the sixth-grade language arts teacher wrote.

Raley said she is prepared to 'take all the criticism and attacks' for her opinion.

She states that despite being a teacher with two decades of experience, she still has to worry about an active-shooter situation on a daily basis.

The middle school teacher states how over the 20 years she has been teaching, she has seen an increase in violence and a lack of compassion among students.

Raley, who loves hunting and four-wheeling in her spare time mentions how she also grew up with guns in her home.

Raley has been recognized for her commentary following the tragic Florida shooting

Raley has been recognized for her commentary following the tragic Florida shooting

'But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me,' Raley says. 

'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. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.'

She goes on to state how when she began teaching in 1998, she never had to worry about calling a student's parents and being sworn at. 

Raley says she did not worry about public shaming because she was calling out a child's behavior.  

Raley looks at how things have changed over 20 years. She says she great up in a house with guns because he dad was a soldier, pictured right, but never once dreamed of using them

Raley looks at how things have changed over 20 years. She says she great up in a house with guns because he dad was a soldier, pictured right, but never once dreamed of using them

'Parents, it's time to step up!' Raley urges. 'Be the parent that actually gives a cr**! 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 ends her post by stating how it was never about gun control.

'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.'

Raley said the only thing she holds dearer than teaching students is her faith and family, and that her father, a military hero, and her mother, a retired school teacher, inspired her to be who she is today.

Raley loves her teaching and has this inspirational message on her classroom door

Raley loves her teaching and has this inspirational message on her classroom door

Kelly Guthrie Raley's Facebook Post

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the 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 (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. 

My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything! 

Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a cr**! 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. 

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. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the cr** 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.

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. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over Facebook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school...because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?