How we protect our children
These simple, commonsense steps listed below are adapted from a post I published on my blog after the horrific Newtown, Conn., massacre. Our hearts ache, but we are not completely helpless or hopeless in the face of evil and the unknown:
7. Teach our kids about the acts of heroes in times of crisis. Tell them about Newtown teacher Vicki Soto's self-sacrifice and bravery. Tell them about Family Research Council security guard Leo Johnson, who protected workers from a crazed gunman. Tell them about the heroic men in the Aurora movie theater who gave their lives taking bullets for their loved ones. Tell them about armed Holocaust Museum security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns, who died fighting back against the museum's attacker.
6. Train our kids. When they see something troublesome or wrong, say something. Students, teachers and parents, if a young classmate exhibits bizarre or violent behavior toward himself or herself, report it right away. If it gets ignored, say it louder. Don't give up. Don't just shrug it off.
5. Limit our kids' time online and control their exposure to desensitizing cultural influences. Turn off the TV. Get them off the bloody video games. Protect them from age-inappropriate Hollywood violence. Make sure they are active and engaged with us and the world and not in a room online every waking moment.
4. If you see a parent struggling with an out-of-control child, don't look the other way. If you are able to offer any kind of help (your time, resources, wisdom), do it.
3. Social stigmas are strong. We don't need government to take immediate, individual action to break those stigmas. There are millions of children, teens and young adults suffering from very real mental illnesses. Be silent no more about your family's experiences, your struggles, your pains and your fears. Speak up.
2. Prepare and protect your community. Joe Cascarelli of Westcliffe, Colo., wrote me about how he and other citizens took their children's safety into their own hands. “It was 10 years ago that our sheriff put an ad in the local paper to initiate the formation of the Sheriff's Posse. About 40 of us volunteered; today we have about 20 active Posse members. Eight years ago, the Posse command staff offered to provide the local school district with daily security patrols when the school was in session, at school athletic events and during school dances, including the annual prom. Law enforcement conducted emergency drills, training to prepare for mass shootings and joint sessions with first responders.
“The Posse has continued its patrols at school events and during the school day. Posse patrols have become a visible, accepted part of our community. Anyone intent on harm would see armed uniformed personnel at the school daily.”
1. Teach our kids to value and respect life by valuing and respecting them always. And in loving and valuing life, teach them also not to fear death. The Catholic hymn “Be Not Afraid” offers time-tested solace and sage advice:
If you pass through raging waters, in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amidst the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow'r of hell and death is at your side, know that I am with you, through it all.
Be not afraid, I go before you always.
Come follow Me and I shall give you rest.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Highmark won’t pay medical claims for 150 children, UPMC says
- Penguins get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Officials knock out ‘Fight Nights’ in man’s Mercer Co. garage
- Final L.A.-to-Homewood drug ring suspect rounded up in Montana
- Indiana County man injured in rollover crash along Route 22
- Man apprehended after North Belle Vernon pharmacy robbery
- Federal grand jury indicts man for violating poultry law while operating illegal slaughterhouse in his Jefferson Hills home
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Game Commission OKs deer culling in Mt. Lebanon
- Blawnox couple jailed in woman’s alleged abuse of boyfriend’s child