Stop talking about school shootings in political sound bites

To all of the politicians out there, it is time to stop talking about the murders of our children at school in political sound bites.

In a recent report card our current president and the five leading presidential candidates received on average a grade of D- minus for their intellectual laziness and lack of critical thinking on the issue of curbing violence at our schools.  It is clear that political sound bites are not the solution.

The facts of the matter are that the challenge of curbing school violence is a multi-faceted and complex problem that defies any simplistic solution.  Rather, the solution requires a multi-disciplinary dialogue to frame both a long-term and near term strategy to stop the killing of our most precious resource—our children.

The long-term strategy must focus on the “whys” of the problem and a commitment to social responsibility.  The things that take time to accomplish.  The near term strategy must be squarely focused on immediate actions where the problem of violence is actually happening—our schools.

Curbing violence at our schools in the near term is a national crisis.  Our first priority must be to make all schools in America what they are intended to be—safe havens for education where learning is both fun and safe for our kids.

Too many people are simply shrugging their shoulders, declaring school violence as an insurmountable long-term challenge.  Well, to them I say that with the way things are going right now it’s not a question of if your child may become a victim of school violence, it is now a question of when.

A little less shrugging of shoulders tempered with the all too real recognition that the next victim of a mass shooting at a school could be your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, could go a long way to address the challenge.

The fact is that the immediate challenge of making our schools safer and curbing school violence in the near term is not an insurmountable problem. Yes, it will take intelligent and critical thought about what really works versus what does not work, and the creativity and willingness to accept new solutions.

Working together, let’s start the national dialogue and bring the nation’s collective genius to the table to solve the crisis of school shootings in America.


John H. Hnatio, EdD, PhD

Executive Director

Institute for Complexity Management

The National School Safety Collaboratory (NSSC) is a division of the Institute for Complexity Management, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to solving intractable social challenges.  The NSSC is a coalition of concerned citizens including parents, school administrators, teachers and scientific experts across all facets of school safety that are developing real solutions to the challenges of keeping our children safe at school.  For example, the NSSC has developed inexpensive and easy to use software solutions to keep our children safe at school.  Instead of reaction, the emphasis is on prevention using science and advanced technology in seamless ways to stop school shootings before they happen.

If you are interested in helping us to save the lives of children and their teachers please visit our website and make a donation.  If you are a school that is interested in upgrading your school safety system please call us.  We depend on your donations to provide cost-free assistance to schools across the nation.  Our contact information is: [email protected] and our phone number is (540) 645-1050.

Bruce Becker, President, NSSC

Investigating Complex Issues