Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reaction Is Not Response

  You know those commercials where if you need something you can just push the Easy Button?  I wish they were real!

  Newtown CT. School shooting is tragic and horrifying to all of us.  It is important after the normal process of grieving  outrage, and reaction, to take a step back and talk about tragedies like this with a calm rational perspective.   Not the usual talking that takes place during the event, which is talking at each other.

  Shouting over one and other to be heard and not listening is a normal part of dealing with such incomprehensible actions.  But we often forget an important part of the healing process, which is to listen.  This is probably the most important part of the healing process, arguably anyway.

  For example, Sussex County Delaware has to decided to put Guards in all it's schools to combat any future such events.  What they failed to do is take a step back and discuss the problem in an intellectual manner.  Which is ironic because all School systems in America are supposed to be based in intellectual thought.

  The words Guard and Combat should never be used as a solution for Schools.  Delaware has a created it's own reputation of putting metal detectors, guards, and police officers in it's High Schools, and as a result they have grown increasingly more violent.

  Yes, as a result!  A Schools intent is to develop and shape young minds.  And that's just what Delaware has done.  By treating Students as inferiors through searches, threats and constant scrutiny, we have developed in them a prisoner mentality.

  Walking through metal detectors and being searched does not make anyone feel safe.  We know it makes us safer because we are rational adults with the ability to discern the proper coarse needed to be safe.  But we don't feel it, we discern it.  Yet we expect children to be able to do the same.  They can't. Not yet anyway.  Not without experience.  And experience is what separates the men from the boys so to speak.

  I don't know what the correct answer is for making our Schools safer and no one person does either.  That will take rational adult conversations with as many people as possible, and the most important ingredient of all "listening".

  What I do know is, a child does not see the world as adults do.  Daily exposure to guards, gates and detectors will never inspire creativity.  Which is something else Schools are meant to do.  You can't open minds by locking doors.

  We don't currently have an answer for tragedies like Newtown, and we are not likely to have one any time soon, until we stop Reacting and start Responding.

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