School shootings are one of the worst among our country’s many problems. So far the only solutions being discussed seem to about gun control and ways of fortifying schools. Both of these may help decrease the occurrence of such tragedies but finding and treating the perpetrators before the event happens seems to have been almost completely overlooked. I think the use of a simple game-like device in schools may help to prevent at least some of these events.
Many of the shooters have been described, after the event, as being "loners" with few friends and many grudges. Some appear to have been simmering and preparing for their decisive act for months and sometimes years. If we could find people with these tendencies early and try to help them better adjust to the school environment, at least some of them may be helped to find their way through that tangled morass of emotions and needs that is called adolescence. At the very least, the process may help us learn who to watch out for.
The attached page describes a simple social media program to notify all students of upcoming events while also inviting them to express an opinion on people and events occurring at school. This is accomplished by asking them to express a limited number of Likes and Dislikes each week and using an "editorial board" to tabulate weekly results and compose the next weekly newsletter, including some of the more important results from the previous weeks polls. There are a number of ways in which this information may. be used by school authorities and students and several are briefly discussed on the back side of the attached mock up of a weekly school newletter.
I hope this basic idea will appeal to a few teachers and school administrators who will try to create a program along these lines and test it in a local high school. If a few of these attempts prove to be popular and effective, they could be copied and repeated in other schools and a few school shootings might be prevented. Of course, claiming success because a rare event has failed to occur proves almost nothing. Still, if even one such tragedy is prevented, it will have been worth the effort.
Attached is a mock announcement from the administration of Wannabe High School.to its new students and staff explaining the use of this device and an invitation take part in its operation. The flip side of this mock announcement provides short discussions of several ways results from this document might be used.