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Letter: Bullying is the real problem

I strongly agree with youth who feel unsafe in their schools. Practicing "active shooter" drills reminds me of "duck and cover" drills when I went to school. In my opinion, they're equally ineffective. Arming teachers isn't the solution either. I can't imagine a teacher shooting someone they've been in school with for years.

Everyone seems to be focusing on gun control, but I believe they're is missing the crucial point of school violence. It isn't the guns, or lack of them. It's the student who has suffered years of mistreatment at the hands of their fellow students.

Did anyone notice the first interviews of the kids from the last school to suffer a mass shooting? I found it curious that most of these kids all seemed to know the shooter. Some even stated that they could "see him being a "school shooter." They had noticed he was a loner. The shooter was described as someone who didn't fit into one of the groups popular at all schools. Some of these kids understood on a deeper level that even though school bullying wasn't permitted, it nonetheless occurs daily in all of our schools. Emotional violence causes long term damage to human beings.

We all remember our school days. We remember who was a target, and who was not to be "made fun of" under any circumstances. School bullying is no different now than it was in my day. The number of guns in this country has probably remained about the same as it was in my day also. What's changed is society.

The answer isn't a call to ban guns, but perhaps to ban bullying. I for one support these kids trying to make schools safe. I just feel they're going about it all wrong. They like to point their fingers at the NRA when they should perhaps be pointing their fingers at each other. Why don't they ask the question "why did this kid come to school and shoot other kids"? Because he could get his hands on a gun? Or was it that the mental suffering of years of bullying had finally taken its toll on the hapless victim, and death was their only release. The solution for school violence starts at home and in the school. Parents, teachers and school boards should take a hard look at what's really going on with students who struggle to fit in. Forget Washington politicians. The solution is, as always, a local one.

Anderson lives in Barnesville, Minn.

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