My fervent hope is that across this nation families are talking about the national epidemic of school and public place shootings.

A STEM school student said the problem is mental health.

Several Salidans whose professions are law enforcement and teaching believe compounding the situation are breakdowns in the family unit and inadequate school funding.

Electronic devices mean parents may not know what is influencing their child.

Bullying is in all schools. Salida High School has one counselor for the entire student body whose list of responsibilities is confounding. Salida High School doesn’t suspend students for bad behavior because it loses money.

Times have changed, community dynamics have changed. For those of us retired to compare the school resources we got by with to today’s world isn’t a reasonable argument against additional funding for more trained school counselors.

Typically, retirement age people were raised with innate respect for authorities such as police, parents and teachers. That has changed.

Children hear their parents calling other people names and children learn that is acceptable behavior.

Students casual conversation reflects virtual universal disrespect. When an adult is faced with a cocky teen giving her lip, somewhere that teen has gotten the idea he is smarter than and above the adult.

Those who consider this problem come to two thoughts; there is a short term bandaid and a long term solution.

The bandaid is better youth supervision at home and in school, and more funding for mental health. The solution is a societal return to respecting each other.

I don’t write this to insinuate I have the answers. Quite the opposite; I write this to encourage a conversation about our society’s catastrophic problem.

When did people of any age get the idea that their hurt feelings will be assuaged by killing people?

Sandy Farrell

Salida

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