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Youth Suicide: What are the causes, warning signs and steps to prevent it?

I am honored that Edciruit.com has published my second article dealing with youth suicide.  This critical article deals with the causes and warning signs.

Youth Suicide Part 2

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Second Youth Suicide Article

I am delighted to announce that edCircuit has published my second article on “Youth Suicide” which identifies the causes, warning signs and ways to prevent youth suicide.

http://www.edcircuit.com/youth-suicide-part-2-causes-warnings-tips/

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Social Emotional Learning: How to Respond to Student Bullying

Just wanted to let you know I was featured in a recent post:
Social Emotional Learning: How to Respond to Student Bullying
https://blog.planbook.com/student-bullying/

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Preventable Tragedy of Youth Suicide.

I have just had the first of two articles published by EdCiruit called the Preventable Tragedy of Youth Suicide. A link to the article appears below:

The Preventable Tragedy of Youth Suicide

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School Safety – As relevant today as when it was written

This was posted by a friend and colleague, Dr. Steve Sroka. I believe that it has significance today as when it was written in 2013.

http://www.wholechildeducation.org/blog/school-safety-lessons-learned-from-cleveland-to-newtown

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Enough is Enough

I am a life-long professional educator – first as a classroom teacher, then as a school counselor, finally as a school administrator. My job was to educate children.

I also was in the military where I was trained, for eight weeks, to fire weapons capable of killing people.

The two occupations are separate and should be. Therefore, I oppose the calls to arm educators.  I would not want my children or grandchildren to be in a classroom with an armed educator who had minimal firearms training. Army qualifications with weapons take 6-8 weeks and shooting at paper targets is different from shooting at people.

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has caused knee-jerk reactions from the President on down to Wayne La Pierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association who said, they are coming for your guns.” I am a die-hard believer in the 2nd Amendment and support it.

The F.B. I’s “School Shooter Report” states that well over 70 percent of all school shooters were bullied. Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter in Parkland, Florida was bullied according to the Miami Herald.

The problem is that it is not a mental health issue (although mental health does play a role. Most mentally ill people do not kill people.) It is not always a drug problem.  Critics are saying that his parents should have done more. Nikolas Cruz is an orphan – his father died when he was 7 and his mother died recently from the flu. He was being taken care of by a family friend who had notified the police of his despondency.

Pure and simple, it is the availability of guns in the United States. According to Child Trends, “In the United States, 30 percent of of deaths among young men ages 15 to 19 can be attributed to gun violence. This is significantly higher than the percentage of young men who died in motor vehicles (23 percent)”.

We license drivers because cars can kill people. Don’t you think we should license owners of military weapons? I did not hear Mr. La Pierre complain about the infringement of his rights when seat belts were required in cars. Is my inability to purchase a hand grenade or an AT4 Rocket launcher an infringement of my rights?

Here is what I propose:

  • Universal gun registry so that a state which bans the purchase of weapons would know which people in other states had bought one. After 26 children and educators were killed in 5 in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, the legislature imposed stricter gun laws. But weapons still come from across state borders came to Connecticut.
  • A mandatory waiting period to purchase guns so that criminal and mental health records could be checked.
  • The banning of the sale of military weapons (AK 47 and M16 for example) to non-law enforcement people.
  • Banning the sale of high velocity bullets except to law enforcement. Hopefully, that will protect the people who are protecting us.
  • Banning the production of high capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Congress banned the sale and allowed the law to expire. It is believed that Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Shooter, fired 155 rounds in less than five minutes.
  • Ban bump stocks.
  • No one under the age of 21 should be able to purchase a rifle.
  • Banning people who are on the no-fly list and those convicted of domestic abuse from purchasing weapons. Oregon has just done that.
  • Mandatory background checks at gun shows and for private gun sales.
  • Repeal of the Dickey Amendment which says that the Centers for Disease Control’s funds cannot be used to advocate for gun control.
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track gun sales, and keep the data it collects electronically and also searchable. At present, it is prevented from doing so.
  • Congress is unable or unwilling to take any action. Action must be taken at the state level by governors and state legislatures.
  • Governors can use retired police officers as school security.

 

My proposals are not perfect, but if they save one life…

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Can Somebody Tell Me….

Can somebody tell me why the N.R.A. and its members can get discounts on car rentals, plane rides and U.P.S. but educators can’t?

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Second Article on Preventing Youth Suicide

I will have a series of articles published the second on February 26. They will be published on edCircuit.com,

The articles were written for and published by  MindRocket Media Group.

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The Latest Valentine’s Day Massacre

On Valentine’s Day, 1929, seven men were gunned down in a Chicago garage supposedly caused by Al Capone.

The latest Valentine’s Day massacre caused the death of 14 children and three educators in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The executioner was Nikolas Cruz, a lonely, depressed young man who legally was able to obtain an automatic weapon even though he was only 19.

Chicago, at the time, was considered the “wild, wild, west”. Today, America is considered the “wild, wild, wild” country. 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide].

Nikolas Cruz couldn’t vote, drink or even get a handgun in Florida but was legally able to purchase an AK47 rifle. The crime is being blamed on his mental illness, yet most mentally ill people don’t kill. It is not a mental illness that led to the latest school killings, it is the proliferation of weapons in America and the ease of obtaining them. Why is this happening…because of the National Rifle Association’s politicized donations to Senators, Representatives both in the Federal Government and States. Our politicians have chosen guns over the lives of children and IT MUST STOP!

I propose a day of National Day of Mourning, on Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day followed by a National March to State Capitals of Parents, Students and Teachers. Maybe they will get the message and answer the question, how many more children must be killed before you act? If you agree, please pass this message around to your friends, neighbors, parents, teachers and students.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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When will they stop killing our children?

Valentine’s Day, 2018, a day of love, brought death to 17 people and their families. It was the 18th school shooting in 2018 and we haven’t finished the month of February. According to Leonard Leonardt in the New York Times (February 15, 2018) “A study in the journal Health Affairs, the ‘United States is now the most dangerous of wealthy nations to be born into.’

“The United States suffers from an epidemic of shooting deaths which are nearly nonexistent elsewhere. The gun homicide rate in this country is 49 times higher than in other rich countries.”

Most of this year’s school shootings took place in places which most people haven’t heard of – Sierra Vista Ca, Marshall TX, Italy TX, Gentilly Louisiana. Some of the shootings took places that people have heard of – Seattle, Philadelphia, Bronx, Mobile, Winston-Salem.

I believed that after Columbine, on April 20, 1999 which killed 13 children and adults and wounded 20 others, Congress and the President would take some action. I was wrong.

After twenty-six babies (5 and 6-year olds) and six adults were killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut surely Congress would take some action. Again, I was wrong!

Las Vegas Nevada (October 1, 2017) a gunman opened fire and left 58 dead and 851 injured. Surely that would wake up Congress and the President. Wrong again!!!

When one of their own was shot – Gabby Griffords, Democrat from Arizona and Steve Scalise, House Majority Whip nothing happened other than the lowering of the national flag and the bemoaning that the shootings took place. But no legislative action.

No child, no family, no school is safe as long as there isn’t Congressional legislative action. I am not recommending suing gun manufacturers and dealers. Congress has already protected them from suit. (The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a United States law which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. However, both manufacturers and dealers can still be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S. based manufacturer of consumer products is held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligent entrustment when they have reason to know a gun is intended for use in a crime.)

I am not proposing the elimination of the Second Amendment. I am saying that automatic or semi-automatic weapons that can be purchased on the open market by 19-year-olds is wrong. That the one-time purchase of 500 rounds of ammunition is wrong. That magazine clips holding 20,30, 50 rounds is wrong. That armor piercing bullets is wrong.

Read the article written by my friend, Stephen Sroka, http://www.wholechildeducation.org/blog/school-safety-lessons-learned-from-cleveland-to-newtown for another perspective.

This is not a Democrat or Republican or liberal or conservative issue. It is an American issue.

How many more children have to be killed before Congress does something?

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