A Friend stood up in Meeting this past First Day (Sunday) and with a struggle to contain her emotions, spoke of the new rules for her son’s kindergarten class.
- The door to the classroom will be locked at all times.
- The only way a child can enter (or re-enter) the classroom is to be monitored visually by a child or teacher on the other side of the narrow glass window beside the door.
- The child who is requesting to be admitted to the room, must show the observer that he does not have a weapon in his hands.
- No one is allowed to travel alone in the hallways at any time. Two children must accompany each other to any place, including the rest room.
Fear is dominating our reactions to the recent school shootings. In our fear, we are locking our doors, being suspicious of everyone, trusting no one who is a stranger, believing that our fear will help to prevent or defend ourselves against harmful intruders. We are teaching our 6 year-old children to look for the gun and the evil intent in anyone they do not know.
Here’s my question: When was the last time that a wall of distrust and fear solved anyone’s problems? (Isn’t a WALL of locked doors and suspicious intent applied to everyone being erected in this school?)
If we are to make our children safe, we need to do the following: things:
- Build relationship with all children. Build relationship within our communities. Relationship is the key to being included, even when we are different, and being included means that we protect our friends and our community–we don’t hurt them. We need for our kids to be special to someone at school, starting when they enter school and carrying forward to their exit from school. And it wouldn’t hurt to have the expectation that they will return to their school/community to be helpful. (National Service between high school and college.)
- Adults must behave in a manner that role models respect. Manners and graciousness is to be valued and expected. Start at home, start in the media, start with our politicians. Start at home, start in Hollywood, start in D.C.
- and with a bow to the obvious, stop the manufacture and selling of all automatic weapons. There is no reason to own a gun that can fire repeatedly by simply squeezing a trigger.
If we are to survive, we must learn how to look for the good in everyone. The grace of Spirit in everyone. For those who believe, we know that “God doesn’t make Garbage–Man does.” For those who may not be Godly-oriented, is man born inherently good or evil? If we are to grow as a species, we must help our children learn the difference between being aware and being safe vs. being constantly on guard and suspicious of everyone.
Be gentle with our children, help them to achieve grace of Humanity through kindness and respect.