May 14, 2018

School Shootings: Is Scaring The Kids Really A Good Strategy?

By Bellwether

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A recent Pew survey showed how scared kids are about the possibility of gun violence at their school. Political operatives hailed it, gun control advocates equated it with engagement, and too many educators did the same. But wait, what? Kids being scared isn’t civic engagement, it’s a problem. And one educators and any responsible adult should seek to do something about. I take a look at that today in The 74:

Gun violence is a real problem in American society at large and in our schools. Even in the context of the hundreds of millions of students who have passed through our schools since 1999, most people would agree that more than 200 deaths from gunfire in American schools since Columbine is unacceptable.

For parents, school shootings are especially terrifying and play to our most basic fears about our children. But hard as it may be, given the emotions bound up in an issue like this, our desire to do something about school shootings must be balanced with other imperatives. First, we’re talking about and with young people, and we should endeavor not to make them needlessly fearful. And second, while indescribably horrific, school shootings and especially mass shootings are very low-probability events. That’s not an argument for doing nothing. It’s an argument for appropriately calibrating our response where kids are concerned. And right now, we’re not…

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