There are approximately 76.6 million students in our public school system and 60 million are in K-12 public school programs. Nearly 25 percent of violent crimes have at least one juvenile (12 years or older) involved in the incident.

A school’s problem concerning hostile shooting actions by students cannot be judged, developed or framed just by the extent or number of those killed by shooters (508 in the past 68 years), or of the total number of shooting incidents occurring in those 68 years since 1950 (372). It is a much larger problem, and numbers soar in multiples, when the full day’s total of violence by school-age students is added onto those that occurred at the school or on its property.

If the goal of our education system includes developing a baseline of learning that prepares and assists the student to meet and advance our societal norms; if we wish for outcomes that meet a tangible, clearly obvious goal, demonstrated by successful character building; and if we wish this desired behavior to extend beyond the school day, then, on that basis, we need to establish curriculum programs that “teach” the student meaningful relationship skills — skills that create the ability to demonstrate positive, uncluttered self-awareness and control, including also a concern for others, their rights, and needs. These developmental programs exist.

If we do this, we will have a school curriculum for all those presently lacking in the necessary, interactive, living skills demanded for a successful, productive life. All will benefit.

Ronald John, Sandy