Deseret News
Letter to the editor

At this time, America faces not an epidemic of behavioral rage and or disdain, but the result of a steady erosion of human concern for one another. We are victimizing ourselves with our secular self-interest. It, however, is not just a matter of religious disinterest, but in all areas which, at one time, demonstrated our ability to look beyond ourselves.

Our personal level of empathy is decreasing, our open appreciation for others not shared, our compassion for those in need ignored, the basics of strong character not demonstrated. We must confront this glaring deficit, and we can.

We need not arm our teachers with guns, but instead return to the pre “Sputnik” age of directly teaching a new class paralleling the old “citizenship” class: a continual curriculum for our young pre-schooler to high school graduation. It would not be what then was bent toward patriotism, but one centered on the core elements of recognition, understanding and practice of positive life skills.

10 comments on this story

We have always stressed the three Rs. The fourth should be "relationship skills": the ability to truly know one's self, an opportunity to practice and integrate behavior within a controlled setting. Any teacher should have the ability to directly initiate elements of already existing curriculum units (role playing for example). All, even those with seemingly uncorrectable problems, will be identified and have a chance for positive integration within the classroom setting. If started with our young, within five years it is unlikely to need a continuation beyond that grade, and we will likely no longer have the high school “shooter.”

Ronald John