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Take Positive Action This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Sure. It could happen here. Say I'm sitting in class and I ask to goto the nurse. I walk outside to my car, open up a shoebox and pop abomb into my jacket. Bell rings. I walk up the ramp, plant the bomband ten minutes later 440 kids have been traumatized or blownup.

Or I get my gun. I pull the fire bell from the main hallway, and asall of the kids are filing down the hall, I let my fingers snap thetrigger.

But why would I do it?

Why did they do it?

Kids who expose themselves to violence, whether through television,computers, video games or movies, start to believe violence is normalor acceptable.

Students who feel rejected by peers, parents or teachers becomeintroverted and seek a way to feel powerful. When those who havebecome desensitized to violence are the same ones who feel likeoutcasts, we can have tragedies like Columbine.

Did any of those twelve kids who died not look like those from ourschool? They were candidates for valedictorian, captains of varsityteams, actresses. They were baby-sitters and prom-goers, wrestlersand musicians. They went to church and helped their neighbors. Theywrote in journals, and thought about the future.

Our response has to begin today. It is our responsibility as acommunity to begin a decisive effort to stop violence in our schools.The solution is not to secure the school. The solution is not tobegin a witchhunt to figure out who it could be in Massachusetts, orBoston or Duxbury. The solution is not to wait until another storylike this spills across the front pages. The solution is for everyone of us - parent, student, teacher - talk to wake up.

We need to talk as a community, through editorials in newspapers,commentaries on radio and television, and most importantly, talk inschools.

If it were up to me, every student would be required to write aboutthe tragedy at Columbine. Students would be encouraged to voice theiropinions in class. Maybe some insightful essays could be published inthe school paper, or presented at an all-school assembly. Maybe therecould be a panel discussion for students, or a series of speeches ordebates presenting ideas for how to deal with these issues. Whateverwe do as a school community, we cannot let this gounmentioned.

It can happen again, and will, unless we focus our time and efforts,starting today, on figuring out how to change our behaviors as acommunity to prevent further tragedies.BR>



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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