To the Editor,
Thank you Mr. Crowley for your realistic editorial about whether we should be strengthening schools or eliminating the threats of the shootings (8/11/22). You were actually my …
To the Editor,
Thank you Mr. Crowley for your realistic editorial about whether we should be strengthening schools or eliminating the threats of the shootings (8/11/22). You were actually my principal when I was in school - graduating in 1968; and we didn’t have those problems back then, or all through my school career. As my recent article on the need for mental health institutions explains ( 7/20/22); we are not addressing the problems of the most vulnerable in our society - mentally ill adults, who are not being serviced by the local Mental Health Centers; and children, as you address, who are bullied at school and are not getting the attention and nurturing that they need and is lacking in their home life.
Buildings and weapons are not the problems. It’s the people within these institutions that are the problems.
We know the shooters are past students. Why does it have to come out as a surprise each time in each individual shooting? Why aren’t they looking at the demographics; and the demographics say you need to do something about this fact. We don’t look at the role of mentally ill adults in society or children with impulse control issues. Everybody runs around saying follow the science, but they never do. They just say take the guns. Look at the role of the adrenal glands and amygdala in children who have the added stress of homelife problems. It creates an inaccurate assessment of danger and improperly often leads them on a path of incorrect fight or flight, as you said. These can cause incorrect assessments, from being called to the principal’s office, or being stopped by a police officer; all the way to locking children in a school and shooting them.
Maybe teachers and police officers should be required to study more about these problems. Maybe teachers need to be more nurturing like they used to be and put more time and attention into their students than the curriculum. Teaching is not a job of punching a time clock. It is a vocation of love, devotion, and dedication; and if anybody doesn’t want to do that, they shouldn’t be a teacher. They need to be competent at noticing children who are not doing well, who may be coming from severe family problems, or being bullied among their peers.
Finally and most importantly, there is the increased pressure for children; as you said, to not only have the necessities such as proper food or housing; but even the proper clothing these days. We need to get back to more basic values and teach our children that these kinds of things are not important. They need to know it is the content of their character, and not what they own, that matters in life. This way, they won’t be looking at other children and judging them. How did we go so wrong teaching children that they are measured by what sneakers they wear and what phone they carry?
All the cops in the world in schools and all the money thrown at schools and free breakfasts will never make up for replacing the science of mental illness/behaviorism; and more importantly - good values.
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