Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, speaks in the Utah Senate in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

As a mother of three children, I share this nation’s deep concern about safety in our schools. I’m listening. I am open to all suggestions for solutions, and I’m eagerly pursuing a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of school violence.

This is a complex issue with many contributing factors, and it’s important that we look at everything that is contributing to these devastating events. It’s equally important that legislative solutions are informed and truly enhance school safety. For example, deputizing teachers en masse may not be the best answer. These good men and women are working in schools to focus on educating and helping students, not to be law enforcers.

We need to work to understand the nuances and struggles people in our society are facing, and foster understanding about mental health issues. I’m concerned about the TV, movie, music and video game violence our children are exposed to in their daily lives.

Even adults aren’t always the best examples of respect and civility, when news Media constantly portray the worst of humanity. What example are we setting if society refuses to protect children at all stages of development?

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We need to empower families, teachers and principals to address and discuss all these issues both inside our schools and our homes. As I have stated publicly, I’m willing to put everything on the table, including bump stocks and exploring judicial processes to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.

Rest assured, I take this issue seriously, but all of us have the responsibility to take it seriously. We must all address the issues that foster violent thoughts, and I look forward to continued coordination with state and local leaders as well as my colleagues in Congress to improve student safety. Most importantly, we must listen carefully to our students as they express the real problems they face. They have a story to tell, and our deeper understanding can very well save their lives.