Lynnwood resident Joe Julian submitted this Letter to the Editor in response to a recent letter regarding safety by Edmonds School District Superintendent Kris McDuffy. Read McDuffy’s letter by clicking here.
Safety is important, to be sure, but it’s a treatment of a symptom. This child in Texas felt at a complete loss of options which was the culmination of a lifetime of societal and institutional expectations.
Are we looking at the sources of these trappings and making an effort to change? Finding ways to ensure children feel they have options and are not boxed in to help prevent their actions from becoming governed by the hypothalamus?
I feel we are not, or at least we are not doing enough. From kindergarten, we teach children to keep their worries and frustrations to themselves, calling it “tattling” if they complain to an adult at school. Is it tattling or is it a cry for help? Maybe we should learn to be more sympathetic instead of asking people, children or otherwise, to be tough and bear their problems alone. We need to actively, daily, ensure that not just our children, but everyone around us hears that we’re available and willing to listen and help. Model the behavior that will prevent these outcomes.
So I’m asking, Dr. McDuffy, what are we doing to prevent these tragedies from ever getting started in the first place?