The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 15, 2013

Our View: Ugly signs of times

The Joplin Globe

As if our area children aren’t already traumatized every time they hear a tornado siren or are hurried into a storm shelter, soon, if not already, they will learn what to do should a shooting occur at their school.

Emergency responders have been meeting with school administrators across the area. Meetings are being held at universities, colleges, high schools and elementary schools to discuss a response should a shooting happen. On Thursday, Carthage administrators were meeting for the grim discussion.

The safety meetings there have been held periodically since the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead in Newtown, Conn. The Carthage Police Department has conducted training, including “active shooter drills” inside Carthage schools.

And the same thing is — or should be — happening at your child’s school.

We applaud local police and school officials, particularly teachers, for realizing that it has become just as necessary to have a “shooter” drill as it is to have a tornado drill or a fire drill.

Until America addresses core problems associated with mental illness and our pervading culture of violence, fear is going to be a core subject within the walls of our schools.

It saddens us that teachers can no longer fully concentrate on teaching our children the basics of math, science and reading. They have become the keepers of our children in so many ways. And they receive the blame for the failings of our society.

Yet, what else would we have them do?

Our children are our most precious belongings. They are our future.

We must be able to teach them and keep them safe at the same time.

We support the local efforts that are under way to do just that.