I have taught in public schools for nearly 40 years; my favorite being 1-3rd grades. I have great nieces and nephews this age. My heart bleeds for these angels and their families. But, the deciding issue is not going to be how the schools could have done a better job of protecting these children. We can not imprison them; build 8-foot, razor studded walls!
We need to look far back to the Reagan era when the state of caring for our mentally ill took a bad turn. Tragically,( even right here in my small CA town) all the mental health hospitals turned out 1,000's of ill patients literally onto the streets. This, the result of new bleeding-heart rulings that these people were able to make their own choices whether to be crazy or not. If you are over 18, you have sole choice to seek professional help, hospitalization, or to take meds for any of many mental illnesses that can render the person aggressive and violent. I speak from experience...my "baby" sister became schizophrenic at the age of 36. For 12 years, she was homeless, a previously gorgeous and loving mother. I did all I could, but was literally told by Napa, California's Count Mental health person that ; "yes, sadly, she is over 18 and has a right to be crazy, and we can only pick her up off the streets if she is literally in the ditch." This is a quote. My sister violently threatened the lives numerous times of her family, and we have case #'s with our local authorities to document her illness. Right down my street, a schizophrenic daughter bludgeoned her mother to death while she was at her church practicing her organ hymns. We (government!!!) need to do something with the mental health laws that enable families and authorities to get these risks off our streets, out of our children's and others harms way. Adam Lanza should absolutely been under institutionalized care, from what the reports sound. And his mother, bless her, certainly was not vigilant enough leaving him access to a cache of people-killing weapons. Everyone, please shout out to your local reps and work to get these threats out of our lives. Children now have so many other stresses--I see it daily. Now, there is just this latest tragedy added.