Keeping Schools & Communities Safe • The Overlooked Element

Keeping Schools & Communities Safe • The Overlooked Element
Peter DuMont - Wed Feb 21, 2018 @ 04:11PM
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The short essay below was first inspired as a listener comment following KQED radio's Forum show 2018 February 20th hosted by Dr. Michael Krasny on: How Can We Keep Schools Safe?  A guest emphasized that with the exception of Sandy Hook Elementary, ALL mass school shootings have involved a perpetrator somehow related to the school community.

This shows that while improved gun laws and security procedures are certainly vital, we must not overlook the importance of Universal Civic Peace Values Education.

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The fact cited that school shooters are almost always associated with their school communities is crucial. And it is pivotal, if we will focus on the implications.

This means that:

1) The health and quality of good, reciprocal relationships at every level of schooling and community is not only important, it is essential. Students, teachers, staff, administration, parents, and surrounding communities must all be involved. Everyone matters. No one can be safely excluded.

2) Values and procedures conducive to prompt, successful conflict resolution — and moreover to improved quality of life everywhere — simply MUST be incorporated into school curricula as well as business, legal, economic, political, and community cultures.

3) Since traditional religious approaches to values instruction are excluded from tax support and the broad reach of government, a CIVIC approach must be developed.

A Bay Area nonprofit initiative [STARALLIANCE.org] has been focusing on developing just such an approach to comprehensive peace values instruction over the last thirty-two years. We have carefully constructed materials to declare, disseminate, and allow individuals to commit to Our Highest Civic Ideals. It is high time that communities give this effort the attention and resources which it deserves (including technical assistance and program content media time for the organization.)

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