Letter to the Editor: Where is the voice of the Shoreline School Board on gun violence prevention?

Friday, April 20, 2018

To the Editor:

In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, FL, multiple school districts in the Seattle Metropolitan area have publicly declared support for actively pursuing gun violence prevention measures to help ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff.

The Shoreline School District Board is not among this group.

These elected leaders have been asked repeatedly by students, parents, and community members to speak. There has been nothing but resounding silence.

I get it. Guns are controversial. Violence is complicated. These things should NOT be, really, the purview of a school board member. But here we are.

Yes, a statement of intent regarding gun violence prevention from the school board merits careful consideration. It should not be taken lightly, and it must be purposeful.

However, I propose that there is an urgency here that outweighs other considerations. Why? Because if the school board does not explicitly speak, the default will be to focus on the easy fix: “hardening” our schools.

That would be a mistake. We will be teaching our children that fear, paranoia, and distrust drive the agenda. We will be instructing them that the most appropriate response to violence is the daily reminder of that violence. We will be telling them that it is “normal” that their educational environment is more like an armed camp than a campus.

You have a voice and we need to hear it, Shoreline School Board. Otherwise, we have a vote and we know how to use it.

Sue Whitcomb
Lake Forest Park


Silje April 20, 2018 at 6:41 AM  

Thank you, Sue, for your excellent letter. It is important, especially for our elected officials, to take a stand in supporting sensible gun violence prevention measures and explicitly support our students. The Shoreline School Board has an opportunity to advocate for an environment where students feel safe and nurtured so they can learn and become productive citizens. They also have an opportunity to show that leadership requires taking on tough issues and having hard conversations. Gun violence is an issue where we must move past the rhetoric and politics and tackle it for the public health epidemic that it is.

Anonymous,  April 20, 2018 at 7:18 AM  

Staff have also asked the school board to speak. We wait.

Anonymous,  April 24, 2018 at 6:15 PM  

Where's the voice of Betsy Devos? Change can happen at this level but significant change must start at the top!

Anonymous,  April 25, 2018 at 6:45 PM  

Wishful thinking

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