What’s Missing? Can We Solve the Problem of Gun Violence in Schools?

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Heart, Soul, Mind and Body

What’s missing? A simple question, yet, one which I often feel we miss when we seek to solve problems of humanity. As a society we often seek to solve a problem from our personal or engrained perspective. In the case of gun violence on our campuses I feel this re-occurring to a great extent.

Think about it, when we align with a group, we tend to generalize and seek to apply similar logic to the problems we face:

If we are politicians, we seek to legislate, rule, and govern, yet, with fear that we will lose popularity with those who align with us if we go against our perspective of their will.

If we are religious, we seek to pray for and send thoughts to those in need, seek to change others to our way of thinking, and we hope for change, while we often do not seek to address the other prevailing issues of the day that need changing.

If we are educators, we seek to teach, support and guide, and yet we are corralled by the rules of the system, limited by resources, and told to do better. (Take up arms? REALLY?)

If we are first responders, we seek to protect, act,and ensure safety, at the risk of our own lives, and yet, we cannot be everywhere, protect everyone, and stop time to solve problems that have yet to occur.

I know I am generalizing on a grand scale, and thoughts and actions are not always aligned to certain ways by groups, and still, my point is, when we seek to solve a problem from our current perspective, we tend to come up with the same actions for many problems, rather than to build our perspective first, towards attacking the current problem in a multi-faceted manner.

In the case of our children, who engage in heinous acts, who are focused on the destruction of others, I ask again, “What’s missing?”

I think we all should be asking this question to help us understand the problem better, to identify what led them to this path, and what discover alternatives we might be able to provide that could have derailed their focus before they got there. I think this approach might help us to realize that there doesn’t exist just one answer, to the problem!

Unfortunately: The politician will never allow the masses to rid the world of guns!

Unfortunately: No matter how much we provide thoughts and prayers, while providing comfort to many, will not bring people back to life, nor heal all who may contemplating acting to harm others.

Unfortunately: We can’t jut lock everyone up who we believe has some type of mental illness! Quite frankly, a number of us would be put away!

Insanity: There is no appropriate way of arming teachers, having a security guard at the entrance to every school, or having a good kid, bad kid scanner that will buzz whenever someone is having negative thoughts, and simply put, turning schools into military zones would not protect everyone inside.

Many, smarter than I individuals, have said it, we must have a multi-faceted approach that seeks to support each person with finding balance within their heart, soul, mind, and body. We must then work towards appropriate, sensible, logical, parameters to ensure, as best we can, that if a person’s heart, soul, mind and body are not in balance, and if they are seeking to do damage to others, that we have safeguards in place to stop them, and that we have done everything we can do to protect others!

Some ideas:

Socio-Emotional Learning:

We must invest in a multi-pronged approach to provide services at all of our schools, through trained professionals, through our medical providers, and through our governmental agencies for individuals at all stages of their lives. With curriculum programs that focus on building positive and strong mental health development, we would then allow for our children to grow in peace, and to build their personal resilience skills, problem solving skills, and to develop an approach to life that is well-balanced. These types of services are needed throughout our lives. Thus, we should work to ensure that mental health services are provided through medical care providers to all, free of charge, and that everyone within our governmental agencies are trained in also providing levels of service that seek to guide, support, and assist with making healthy choices.

Hope, Inspiration and Goal Building:

There is a difference between providing mental health services to ensure that individuals are developing positive mental health strategies, and in building individuals who aspire to greatness, through a positive style of living, have internal hopes, dreams and goals, and who want to make our world better for themselves and others. Some might say that religion is the owner of this arena, yet, I would say that the ideas of supporting each person to hope, be inspired, and develop goals, can also be owned by individuals, our educational institutions, health organizations, and community and service-oriented groups. Yes, hope, inspiration and goal building can come from a variety of sources, and we must build opportunities for more positive to exist in our world than negative.

Legislation, Rules, and Governance:

If you are still with me, thanks! Here is the tricky part!

We must continue to build a new way of thinking that will create a tipping point in the mind of our legislators! It appears to me that mny of them have solidified their beliefs that there are simply far too many people who have bought guns in the past, or who will buy guns in the future, who back the NRA, so strongly, that they can never rise up against them!

This must change! As a society we own the responsibility of helping them to see there is a different possibility, a new paradigm, a different perspective. We must help them see that they do not need to continue to be beholden to the NRA. They do not need to sustain their misbeliefs that everyone feels the need to own a gun, and that somewhow, these weapons of mass destruction that were created to cause ultimate death and destruction to enemies on the battlefield of our government, must be allowed into the hands of an average citizen!

This must change! Real and complete background checks, limits on types of weapons, registration and review of licenses to continue to own weapons, safety training, and possibly even gun buy-back for destruction programs are some ideas. I am not fool hardy enough to believe that we can rid the world of guns, but for the love of God, we must have limitations that seek to protect the masses, rather than to protect the rights of some, that are not truly rights listed in our constitution!

Safety:

School facility funding is far too low, and practically nonexistent from the federal level, and simply doesn’t meet the needs of a society that needs to protect its most valuable resources, our children. When each district in each state is left to its own design to pay for design, development, construction, and safety of schools, there becomes another field of inequity for the children of our communities. If we truly believe that we must have consistent levels of security at each of our schools, such as: closed perimeters, access through a limited secure entry, guards on the outside of our schools monitoring the permiters, safety locks to protect those inside at any moment, school-wide communication systems that can be used by many at the drop of a hat, then we need an enormous infusion of dollars to accomplish this! It is far to easy to say, we need these things, and then to leave the responsibility to local authorities to fund these ideas, with no new resources. Dear legislator, put your money where your mouth is, and invest in all of our schools to ensure the safety of all of our children!

This issue hits home!

Far too often we see these horrific scenes play out on our televisions, and far too often, we see the aftermath, the arm chair quarterbacking, and the retreat to old ways of thinking to protect our perspectives.

What I call for is a new way of solution building. Ask, “What’s missing?” Take time to review, before jumping into a solution that is based in your current perspective, and seek new ideas, all ideas, to combat these types of heinous acts at all levels. Please, now is the time! If not, us, then who? If not now, then when? If not you, then who? We ll own this problem. Let’s work together to solve it!

Let’s take the lead of our children, who have had enough #NeverAgain

Let’s let the life our children live be the measure of our succes!

Dr. Rob Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and is well known as “ResiliencyGuy” Please follow in on @Twitter as @ResiliencyGuy or on his Facebook page.

#ACSAPowerfulTogether

#VOTESupeRob4VP

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2 thoughts on “What’s Missing? Can We Solve the Problem of Gun Violence in Schools?

    Tracy Catalde, Ed.D. said:
    February 25, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Beautifully written, Rob! I coukd not agree more with each of the points you’ve made.

      resiliencyguy responded:
      February 25, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Thanks Tracy. I’ve been contemplating this post for a while, and thought it was time to put these thoughts into this post.

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