Letter to the editor: Let’s talk about how to make schools safe

Let’s talk about how to make schools safe

A great big thank you to Erin Thompson and Michael Armstrong and the Clarion for their very informative article, “After Parkland,” in Sunday’s paper. The importance of information regarding the influence of school shootings on all of us is number 1 on me and number 2 is where do we go from here? Their article describes the horror (to me) of the shootings of students in the last two decades, the complexity of the problems and the need for solutions to the problems. I use the word horror because shooting, wounding, and killing young people is unacceptable to me and I use it in response to some people’s unconsciously normalizing such actions.

The authors do a very nice presentation of students’ impressions and students’ ideas along with our need to include young people in the debate and the creation of solutions to what I see as a major problem in America. James Brooks and the Juneau Empire also do an excellent job of presenting young people’s experiences in protesting school shootings in Juneau High School last Wednesday along with their recommendation for us to listen closely to our young people and act to correct the problem.

School shootings, wounding and killing young people haven’t always been a major problem in America. Eighty years ago we entered school without fear of being shot, wounded or being killed even though guns were readily accessible. Forty to 30 years ago when I taught at Kenai and Soldotna high schools, I do not recall any fear of such violence. Many things have happened in the ensuing 30 years. Many times students and schools have been shorted by budget reductions brought about by legislators’ actions. One such result was the curriculum called Human Relations was removed from the courses offered at KPC and UAA. Maybe it is time to reinstate such a course. Our governmental leaders in Juneau and Washington might even benefit from such a course.

To the students of Alaska and America, I applaud your speaking up for things you know are right and encourage you to never give up pushing for safe schools. Safe schools are possible. You give me hope for our future. Change is necessary.

Hugh R. Hays


More in Opinion

Larry Persily (Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: State’s ‘what if’ lawsuit doesn’t much add up

The state’s latest legal endeavor came July 2 in a dubious lawsuit — with a few errors and omissions for poor measure

The entrance to the Homer Electric Association office is seen here in Kenai, Alaska, on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Speak up on net metering program

The program allows members to install and use certain types of renewable generation to offset monthly electric usage and sell excess power to HEA

Gov. Mike Dunleavy signs bills for the state’s 2025 fiscal year budget during a private ceremony in Anchorage on Thursday, June 25, 2024. (Official photo from The Office of the Governor)
Alaska’s ‘say yes to everything’ governor is saying ‘no’ to a lot of things

For the governor’s purposes, “everything” can pretty much be defined as all industrial development

Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board members, staff and advisors meet Oct. 30, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The concerns of reasonable Alaskans isn’t ‘noise’

During a legislative hearing on Monday, CEO Deven Mitchell referred to controversy it’s created as “noise.”

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Crime pays a lot better than newspapers

I used to think that publishing a quality paper, full of accurate, informative and entertaining news would produce enough revenue to pay the bills

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo
Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom addresses the crowd during an inaugural celebration for her and Gov. Mike Dunleavy at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Jan. 20, 2023.
Opinion: The many truths Dahlstrom will deny

Real conservatives wouldn’t be trashing the rule of law

Gov. Mike Dunleavy discusses his veto of a wide-ranging education bill during a press conference March 16 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Governor, please pay more attention to Alaskans

Our governor has been a busy guy on big issues.

Priya Helweg is the acting regional director and executive officer for the Region 10 Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Happy Pride Month

This month is dedicated to acknowledging and uplifting the voices and experiences of the LGBTQI+ community

A roll of “I voted” stickers sit at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau in 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strengthening democracy: Native vote partners to boost voter registration

GOTNV and VPC are partnering to send over 4,000 voter registration applications this month to addresses and P.O. boxes all over Alaska

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30.
Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

Fixers from Alaska and elsewhere step in after guilty verdict

Ballot booths are set up inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Perspective from an election worker

Here is what I know about our Kenai Peninsula Borough election system

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.