Since last week’s shooting in Parkland, Florida, several articles have suggested a seemingly simple solution to the epidemic of gun violence in our schools. Not tighter restrictions on who has access to deadly weapons, what kind, or how many. Not investments in mental healthcare access and intervention. Not fixing the broken system that allowed a tip reported to the FBI about Nikolas Cruz to fall by the wayside. Not even heightening security checks at schools or arming teachers to fight fire with fire.
These articles have simply suggested that we should all reach out to the lonely and ostracized among us. That we should encourage our children to counter their classmates’ isolation and disconnection with a friendly smile and an invitation to sit together in the cafeteria.
Sounds idyllic–all these shiny happy people holding hands at recess. No child left behind in a toxic stew of neglect, self-doubt, and revenge fantasies. Teens and pre-teens with the emotional maturity to not ridicule a classmate today because they don’t want to get gunned down while they cower under a desk tomorrow. Continue reading