Figure out the gun violence
It’s the day after the shooting at the Stem school in Highlands Ranch. I sat down to read the newspaper, and the first picture I see is the young boy being evacuated from the school. This child looks to be 6 or 7 years old. Look at his face, does anyone see what I see? So terrified, so scared, just trying to go to school.
Does anyone think like I do — this has to be stopped. It’s been said over and over and over again — figure out the gun violence against schools. Or against everyone. Enough.
Children are still dying
As educators, we weep for our extended family at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch: students, parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, law-enforcement personnel, and so many others. They are now stricken with heart-wrenching pain and haunted by questions of what possibly could have been done to prevent the tragic death and injuries on May 7. We can’t help but put ourselves into the same situation and ask if it could happen to us. Sadly, the answer is, of course, yes.
After the Newtown/Sandy Hook tragedy years ago, I had the privilege of serving on the White House School Violence Task Force. We took a $50 million package of interventions to Congress. Rep. Jared Polis helped us get the package through the House Education Committee.
But when it came to the Appropriations Committee, the toxic political environment in our nation’s capitol prevented approving these funds to help save children from these tragedies.
So here we are, children are still dying because of our inability to come together to save them from school violence. Shame on us.
Apply these proven technologies
For years, our educational systems, local and federal law enforcement, the private sector have attempted to address school violence through physical security, i.e. metal detectors, armed guards, locks etc.
These approaches, while valid from a context of reacting to a violent event, ignore the potentiality of a deliberate predictive and programmatic approach to school violence. They also ignore the 98% of incidents that occur in our school’s every day that often lead to these tragic acts.
Through a predictive vice responsive focus on school and gun violence, the devastating effects of a school attack might be prevented through intervention ahead of a crisis, which is far preferable than gun violence and then mitigating the effects of gunfire, explosives and other destructive acts towards our children. The tools and methodologies used in predictive analytics to prevent violent acts, similar to the ones that take place at U.S. schools, are very mature and have been successfully applied against violence for over two decades.
Predictive analytics is also highly effective as extensive data and information is owned by our school districts that, through analytics and additional data inputs such as anonymous texting, can be aggregated in a manner that is compliant with U.S Federal regulations while respecting an individual’s privacy. Given the potential for the catastrophic impact that school shootings have on our children and our communities, to not apply these proven technologies is an egregious oversight and continues to put our children’s lives at risk.
Truly heroic acts
Not many people I have known wanted to be a hero, they were just ordinary men and women, who when everyone else ran or stood frozen in place acted with that inner calling that comes at that time. And as it is said (No greater love hath no man than to give his life for a friend.)
Thus these young men (all in high school) acted when it counted — Kendrick Castillo, Brendan Bialy, Jackson Gregory, Lucas Albertoni. So I say to you all: Semper Fidelis
Benef i ts of the free market
Regarding Monday’s opinion of The Gazette’s Editorial Board: “Socialists aren’t as cool as they think”. I would like to add a few comments. While there have been many definitions of socialism recently, there have been precious few of the free market. Most call it capitalism, a perfectly good definition, but one unfortunately which has become a pejorative especially by those on the left.
Why not use “the free market” especially when comparing it with socialism. We Americans pride ourselves in being lucky to live in freedom in our country and so it is only natural that a free country have a free market, not one controlled by the state or monopolies. We all love freedom of choice, the bedrock of a free market which is the anthesis of socialism. It is a better word for all of us to use.
We who are believers in the free market ought to have its definition immediately at hand in a short, simple, and compelling way. I have not seen it presented that way recently and I urge those more eloquent than me to write it down, disseminate it throughout the press, schools and by other influential ways so that there is no confusion about the significant benefits of the free market, a blessing in our country and to all.