Letter: Easing classroom fears

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Easing classroom fears

If you’re old enough, you recall the drills against nuclear attack we practiced in elementary school, diving beneath our desks, imagining the windows blowing in, the fractured air sucking out. Far from making us feel safe, the drills gave me, and perhaps you, nightmares, making real in our minds the moment we dreaded most. So it will be if we “harden” our schools. The practice will force children to live warily with the omnipresent image of a shooter whose weapons spit bullets meant to tear and disintegrate organs.

I recall as the Berlin Wall came down feeling, above all, relief at last that the threat of nuclear war was gone. How much better will schoolchildren feel if we stop selling assault rifles, stop selling rounds that explode organs, stop an arms race that the NRA believes should be endlessly deadly. We can make our schools safe, and – no small thing – enable children to feel safe, if we stop indulging the paranoia of the few.