Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Several days have passed since the shootings at Sandy Hook school.  This blog is about communication or the lack of it and both certainly apply to Sandy Hook. 

On Friday, we had entirely too much communication as talking heads filled air time guessing about everything from the shooter's identity to what he was wearing. Little children were pushed in front of microphones and asked to relive what they experienced. Parents sobbed as cameras sent every tear out on the airwaves. Politicians called for more and less gun control. So-called experts told us how to stay safe in the future.

After the initial rush of commentary, cooler heads are giving serious and thoughtful consideration to many of the issues this tragedy raises. Real communication has begun as people consider what it all means. Hopefully, we will focus, not just on guns, but on all the other issues. What are they? Mental illness, school security personnel, and school preparedness to name just three.

Yesterday I tweeted this link. I draw your attention to it again because a friend, who is a school administrator, said something very similar to me when we were discussing Sandy Hook this morning.  (Read the post here.)  He spoke about tornado drills instead of fire drills but basically said the same thing found in the article. He added that the school board would not permit him to work up a plan.

How often have we heard that families should have a well-rehearsed escape plan in the event a fire occurs in their home?  Such plans are just as important for schools. That why we have fire drills.  After 9-11, high rise office buildings started evacuation drills. Perhaps Sandy Hook will bring about similar changes in our schools.

We can no longer deny that what happened at Sandy Hook can happen any time any place. No school is immune.  Instead of pretending these things can't happen where you live,insist that your schools develop plans and hold drills. It's a kind of insurance that we just can't afford to do without.

So talk about it openly and honestly. Leave the politics in a closet and discuss how to better protect ourselves and our children when there is a shooter in our midst. Because, sadly, that is just as likely as a fire or a tornado.

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