KidsKeeping our kids safe online is one thing, and keeping our kids safe at school is another. Yesterday’s events at Virginia Tech bring home another tragic event leaving each of us wondering why? I have been involved as a teacher in the public school system for the past 13 years. In that time I have had numerous discussions with my students and my own children each time these terrible events take place. It is not an uncommon discussion anymore. The big question is how can we stop this? It seems that we cannot.

Parents entrust faculty and staff to keep our children safe at school. As a teacher I can say that the planning, training, and preparation that takes place in our schools today is continual and thorough; however, can we totally prepare for such events? Unfortunately, the preparation is a need and not a choice. Our society has fallen into a state whereby school safety is a serious concern. What can we do to help?

Parents and citizens of any community can become involved in the education system on many levels. I believe involvement is a key to prevention. As a parent, I have often felt like I have little meaningful communication with the school system. Yes, I receive letters home, grades online, and read about school information in the newspaper or hear about it on the radio, but even as a teacher I don’t always know of what is going on in the schools and classrooms that my children attend each day. Part of that responsibility is my own, and it is the responsibility of each citizen to become informed concerning our schools.

Technology can be a tool to aid in the process of sharing information, but it does not and should not replace the face to face communication that must take place on a regular basis to connect each of us as human beings in a caring and concerned society. Social skills, crisis prevention, counseling, and human relations training are vital pieces of knowledge and assistance that must be a part of the education process. These things must be topics of discussion and conversation at home, at school, and in our communities. All of it requires dialogue between people, and my hope is that we improve our parts in that process.

I know I need to do a better job , and I hope you will join me in this charge. My heart goes out to all those touched by the events at Virginia Tech. We are all touched.

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