I have told the story many times, but in case you missed it.
My favorite teacher/coach/friend from may days in high school is Jerry Dawson. Coach so impacted my life I went to see him a few years ago to make sure he knew before he got too much older how appreciative I was/am for his impact in my life. Coach was "old-school" and a Marine. I love this man.
When I saw him he was in his final year as my high school's Athletic Director. He had been there more than thirty years and was one of the winningest prep baseball coaches in American history. A ridiculous number of State Titles under his coaching.
I asked him why he was hanging it up...here's what he said:
"Preston, when you were in school if someone was a knucklehead and we called the parents; mom or dad walked in the office stared straight at their kid and asked, 'What did you do?' Now, even after their kid beat another student with a racquetball racquet, I had a parent walk in and ask ME, 'What do you do to provoke my child.' (Pause) I knew it was time to retire."
That was ten years ago this summer.
Coach D nailed it. We've changed...and not for the better.
Fast forward to the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Parkland, Florida and check out the words written by Florida middle school Teacher of The Year.
But, there's more to consider...I forget where I read it, but the column reminded me of another reality of my days in school...we largely policed ourselves. You really never ratted anyone out; didn't need to because bullies were not tolerated. Good (and usually bigger) kids protected the weak and vulnerable. There was a way we handled jerks...we just took care of it. Sometimes all which was required was a "chat" with some of the guys. Other times, more intense discussions took place. Then it was over. No lingering hostilities, just an attitude adjustment by peers.
Honestly, while I would LOVE to see those days relived the reality is you cannot do it today. Too great a chance of a lawsuit, too great a chance of a kid coming back with a gun. Besides, today the victim who fights back (or has friends who do) is treated the same as the perpetrator.
And we wonder why kids have trouble distinguishing right from wrong...both are treated the same.
For now, the best solutions can be found here. Or, you could pull your kids out of the public school system and put them where they can be protected - your home.
Lastly, private schools need to demand the freedom to protect their campuses as they see fit. I promise...before long there will be evidence to show enacting armed staff and eliminating the "gun free zone" works.