Active shooter drills in schools are disturbing, but hopeful programs are happening, too. Schools have introduced conflict resolution programs, young students trained in peer mediation, ending schoolyard squabbles before they escalate. Schools report great success with conflict resolution, with fewer disagreements and fights among classmates.
Maybe it’s time for a national conflict resolution program, like those we teach kids, to reach everyone with the message that violence is not an answer. All of us — those with different views, schoolchildren, elected officials — we need to use our words.
I hope the day comes when active shooter drills are no longer necessary. Because nobody should hide under their desk in fear. No student, and no member of Congress.
With a Perspective, I’m Richard Swerdlow.
Richard Swerdlow teaches in the San Francisco Unified School District.