Editor's Brief

How We Compound Our National Disgrace

Flowers, candles and mementos sit outside one of the makeshift memorials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 27, 2018. Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school will reopen o... Flowers, candles and mementos sit outside one of the makeshift memorials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 27, 2018. Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school will reopen on February 28, 2018 two weeks after 17 people were killed in a shooting by former student, Nikolas Cruz, leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 6, 2019 2:29 p.m.

I want to recommend to you this article in the Times about the active shooter drills which are now commonplace in schools around the country. The gist of the article is that we may be or are traumatizing (triggering depression, chronic anxiety and more) a generation of young Americans with drills the effectiveness of which are at best uncertain.

Like many of you, I have thought and felt a lot about the scourge of school shootings that have plagued our country for more than 20 years. But somehow this article made me angrier at us as a country, as a collective, than most actual school shootings themselves. In part, it may be that every individual school massacre presents us with facts and agony, physical and emotional, that are all but beyond comprehending. Here though, you have the young girl angry at her teacher for confiscating all cellphones before class because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to notify authorities about a mass shooter or say a final goodbye to her mother before she was shot to death.

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