Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Minnesota Tragedy
It has reached snichols attention that another terrible shooting in a school has transpired. In interviews today with NPR, the principal of the school described in detail the precautions the school had taken to prevent just such a tragedy from occurring: security guards, weapons detectors, security cameras.

Other people better qualified than snichols will comment on the horror of the shootings themselves. But it occurs to snichols that there is another tragedy that this shooting uncovers, the tragedy that society would turn to security guards with guns, weapons detectors and security cameras as a way to protect our children.

Surely the Minnesota event shows us how illusory this "protection" really is--the rampage happened in spite of these measures.

Indeed, it would seem quite the contrary: having these "systems' in place sends a potent message to our children: you live in a world of violence; there is nothing you can do about it but station men with guns around your perimeter and scrutinize everyone's every move. This invites violent and desperate thoughts in everyone; it fosters hopelessness and fear.

How would it be if school leadership instead fostered a community spirit, where every person in the school was responsible for the success of everyone else? Where everyone cared about everyone else and each child's life was important. Wouldn't that be something? Wouldn't that be more likely to lead to real security?

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