“Death is a billion-dollar business. They can’t even
pass a law where it takes seven days to get a gun.
Why don’t you have to go through the same screening?
you do to get a driver’s license. It’s totally insane.”
~Jon Cusack, American actor, producer, screenwriter
After I wrote my first book on the shooting at the Appalachian School of Law, it was common for parents to thank me, but also to say the subject matter was so disturbing they could not read what I had written. They would usually then encourage me to keep working for campus safety. Most said they had children in university or about ready to enter; the subject was just too terrifying for them to even think about. But they are exactly the people who need to be the most concerned; they are the people with the most at stake—the safety and lives of their children.
No matter how painful the subject of school shootings and school safety is, all parents must think about it and think what they can do to protect their most valuable legacies, their daughters and sons. While we will never completely eliminate school shootings, a great deal can be done to dramatically reduce the number of these shootings and to make them a very rare occurrence. Parents can play a key role in this effort.
In upcoming posts I will be addressing a number of subjects dealing with what parents can do to help ensure the safety of their children:
1. Questions parents need to ask of schools;
2. Examples of schools where good policies are in place;
3. Accountability—do states hold school officials (including holding school presidents accountable for incompetence resulting in death and injuries to others); and
4. Do parents really want to send their children to a school in a state (such as Virginia) that pays school presidents over $800,000 a year, guarantees a retired state school president $100,000 in salary just to teach one course—but if their child is killed, limits the amount a private citizen can sue a school for to $100,000?
(To be continued)