Recently I went to one of our public schools to assist a family having a meeting with staff.  The meeting was just before school started and I arrived early.  I walked in, told the receptionist I would be waiting for some people to join me.  I don’t believe she knew who I was, and didn’t ask for any identification.  I know I’m a senior and look it, but no matter, I had no trouble entering the building.  I noticed there was also another door that I could have used because students were being dropped off and going in that way.  This is not right.  Anyone meaning harm could do the same.  Yes, Mesquite is considered safe, but will it remain that way in a society that has one out of ten adults and youth with some sort of mental illness?

Of course, the majority of these individuals will never harm anyone, including them selves, but this is not always the case.  It takes only one deranged individual. I speak from experience, not because I have ever been involved with someone who committed a violent act on a school campus, but from my background as a Child and Family Psychotherapist.  I have encountered many angry, sometimes violent young people that had the potential to cause great harm to others.  It does not have to be a shooting to cause harm to others, although in America it seems to be the method of choice. Just look to countries where guns are not normally available, but violent acts happen.

What happened in Florida and elsewhere could happen anywhere.  The politicians on both sides of gun control will argue these occurrences for years to come.  Some will want no guns, some increased background checks, age requirements, more mental health screenings and so on.  In the end they will end in gridlock, and probably little of anything will get done.  Guns don’t kill; neither do knives, or other weapons unless directed by an individual.  Rational people don’t kill, unless it’s self-defense, but those who kill, just to kill are not rational.

There will be many arguments as discussions move forward.  Most will end with the status quo and we will be back where we started; waiting and hoping these senseless killings won’t happen again, but they will.

So, are there foolproof solutions to violence in the schools?  I don’t have the answers, but I do know we cannot leave those solutions up to the politicians in Washington.  Solutions need to come from us.

Those of you that are parents or care about the safety of our children need to demand that action be taken by those responsible for the education of those children.  Not the teachers, but the Board of Education to start NOW in the protection of the schools!  Whatever funds it takes, the school district must develop a plan and properly fund and implement it to keep our children safe.  It’s time to end the meaningless discussion and get down to business.  It’s a sad commentary on our world, but it is what it is.