Teaching is not a job of punching a clock
For the editor,
Thank you Mr. Crowley for your realistic op-ed on whether we should beef up schools or eliminate threats of shootings (8/11/22). You were actually my principal when I was in school – I graduated in 1968; and we didn’t have those problems then, or throughout my school career. As explained in my recent article on the need for mental health facilities (7/20/22); we are not addressing the issues of the most vulnerable in our society – adults with mental illness, who are not served by local mental health centres; and the kids, as you say, who are being bullied in school and not getting the attention and education they need and missing in their family life.
Buildings and weapons aren’t the problem. It is the people within these institutions that are the problem.
We know the shooters are former students. Why does he have to be a surprise every time in every individual shot? Why don’t they look at the demographics? and the demographics say you have to do something about that fact. We don’t look at the role of mentally ill adults in society or children with impulse control issues. Everyone walks around saying they follow the science, but they never do. They just say take up arms. Look at the role of the adrenal glands and the amygdala in children who have the added stress of family life issues. This creates an inaccurate assessment of danger and often inappropriately leads them down an incorrect fight or flight path, as you said. These can result in incorrect assessments, being called to the principal’s office or being pulled over by a police officer; up to locking children in a school and shooting them.
Perhaps teachers and police should be required to study these issues more. Maybe teachers need to be more caring as they were before and give more time and attention to their students than the curriculum. Teaching is not a job of punching a clock. It is a vocation of love, devotion and devotion; and if someone doesn’t want to do that, he shouldn’t be a teacher. They must be skilled at noticing children who are unwell, which may stem from serious family problems, or who are bullied among their peers.
Last but not least, there is the increased pressure for children; as you said, not only to have necessities such as adequate food or housing; but even appropriate clothing these days. We need to get back to more basic values and teach our children that this stuff is not important. They should know that it is the content of their character, not what they possess, that matters in life. This way, they won’t look at other children and judge them. How could we go wrong teaching kids that they are measured by the sneakers they wear and the phone they carry?
All the cops in the world in schools and all the money thrown at schools and free breakfasts will never make up for replacing the science of mental illness/behaviourism; and most importantly – good values.