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Straight Talk for Teens Safe schools: Panel weighs in with solutions

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 7:22 am

For today’s column, I asked the panel what would make our schools safer. Their ideas are excellent and root-cause oriented: Stop drugging our kids. Stop glorifying their killers. Free childhood of television and video games and enrich it with art, nature, nobility and brotherhood. Replace our national obsession with violence with an obsession for education and mental health. And until the train wreck stops: Arm select teachers. It is a wise culture that listens to their youths. — Lauren

Brie, 21, San Francisco: Most perpetrators of school shootings were on psychotropic drugs, many known for increasing thoughts of suicide and death. Yet these drugs are rampantly overprescribed to millions of children with almost zero oversight or consideration of alternatives. Then, there are video games. Even children playing “harmless” games lose social skills. I was nanny to kids who were so socially awkward! They couldn’t pry themselves from virtual reality long enough to say three words. As kids move into more violent games, their only “friends” are online instead of at school. The desensitization and real-world disconnection are serious problems. Until we stop drugging our kids and parking them in front of nonstop virtual violence, we need to train and arm select teachers who could respond immediately in a tragic situation.

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