Regarding the Sept. 12 news article “Finding hope in Columbine tragedy: Don’t wait for disaster to strike, former Everett schools chief warns”: First of all, the incident at Columbine High School was a tragedy. But to look for hope in this tragedy is an insult to our nation. I understand that those intimately involved, such as parents and school-related personnel, must latch onto something that will comfort them in this time of despair. But for us as a nation, this is not a situation that brings hope to us. School Superintendent Jane Hammond is right on target in saying, “If it could happen at Columbine it could happen anywhere.” But the answer is not to “drum up support for a local ‘Operation Latchkey’ before- and after-school program,” as the story reported she was doing.
The nation’s attorneys general from all 50 states held workshops in their states. They asked the question “What is the cause of school violence?” The attorneys general interviewed those people involved in school violence, the students. What the students replied was “We need to have more parent involvement; we need to have someone who tells us right from wrong; we need someone to talk to; and we need to feel that someone cares for us.” This does not sound like before- and after-school programs. It sounds like loving, caring and involved parents.
There is no magic bullet to the answer of school violence. A beginning would be for parents to take the responsibility of actually being parents and make the lifestyle decisions that put our nations’ and their children first. Only then can we find any hope in the Columbine tragedy.
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