I’m watching angry comments fly back and forth on social media as people in Montana try to make sense of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. I’d like to ask people in the Flathead Valley for one thing: let’s be decent to each other.
Teachers and students are feeling frightened and helpless after this recent attack and bomb and shooting threats have been called in to Montana schools. While we may not all agree on the best course of action to end this terrorism, let’s choose good manners.
Being a good neighbor isn’t just the way we do things in Montana, it’s the best way to keep people from dividing our communities. As we found out in 2017 when white supremacists attacked Whitefish, along with cyber-terrorist threats that closed schools in the entire valley, there are always people looking to make us afraid. They are seeking out community disagreements so they can jump in find ways to stir up suspicion and anger. These chaos-makers actually enjoy seeing people in strong communities turn against each other.
The best way to defend ourselves against this outside influence is to remember that we all live, work, and play here together. We don’t have to agree on everything – what community does? But we can be civil.
We’re all tired of the toxic political climate. Let’s choose to listen and understand without insulting each other.