The emotional marathon continues for the families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting one year ago. Today, their lives go on but they have been transformed forever. The rest of us are surprised at how quickly the shock has dimmed. It has been a year of survival for the families and getting through it. The goal for the families is dealing with the new reality in their lives.
We need to honor those who lost their lives and the surviving families in a respectful manner. The media needs to steer clear of Newtown on the anniversary and respect the town's wishes.
So what has changed in protecting schools, the students and teachers? According to a investigation conducted by the daily beast, there have been 24 school shootings claiming 17 lives since the Newtown shooting. One shooting every two weeks on an average. Some of these shootings do not get the media attention as mass shootings but they are just as traumatizing to the students and teachers.
After every massacre in a school, Americans grasp at quick cures. Installing metal detectors, giving guns to teachers for example. Researchers who study school shootings have said that the nation has done the wrong things over and over again to prevent these rare but frightening events. The United States Congress according to many politicians and observers has not made any real progress in school safety legislation. Only one out of five schools currently get money from the government for the prevention of shootings.
School shooters usually don't "snap" or go "crazy". They have serious grievances, and they plan their attack. Many felt bullied or persecuted and injured by others. They showed difficulty coping with significant losses and personal failure. They generally told someone about their plan and had access to weapons.
Schools need to do more creative work in stopping bullying, dealing with grievances and allowing students to feel safe in speaking up when they are concerned about another student. There is no accurate or useful "profile" of students who engage in targeted school violence. Some come from good homes, some do not, some have good grades some have bad.
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