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YOUTH SAFETY, THEN AND NOW
By Lynn Stuter
October 31, 2003
Following the incident at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999, states nationwide held "youth safety summits," supposedly to address the problem of youth violence. State summits culminated in a national summit held under the direction of then President Bill Clinton.
The problem of youth violence was solved. Summit participants were pleased that their "voices were heard" in the halls of government, that they were able to participate in our "participatory democracy." Everyone went home feeling good.
But was the problem really solved? Since April 1999, there have been no less than 19 incidents involving guns and schools:
• Conyers, Georgia — May 20, 1999
One of the predetermined outcomes of the summits was that these school shootings should not receive the media attention they had, theretofore, received. The reason given was that such would dissuade those shooters seeking their "fifteen minutes of fame." The result was that school shootings were suddenly no longer front and center on the evening news, local and national, giving people a false sense that the problem had been cured.
Obviously, that is not true; the number of school shootings has not slowed at all. In the same 4.5 year period prior to April 21, 1999, there were 15 reported incidents:
• Lynnville, Tennessee — November 15, 1995
In August 1998, a report was forthcoming from the US Department of Education entitled Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools. The report was "based on the work of an independent panel of experts in the fields of education, law enforcement, and mental health." The research found in the guide was funded by the following federal offices:
• Office of Special Education Programs, US Department
The guide laid out the "early warning signs" of a prospective violent youth:
• Social withdrawal
Obviously, the guide — for all the time and money spent coming up with it, distributing it, promoting it, and hiring personnel to implement and oversee it in schools — hasn't had the effect of deterring school shootings.
It has, however, released the flow of money from the federal government to the states to "stop youth violence," the effect of which has been to increase the power and position of the government at the federal level via requirements set forth in requests for proposals (RFPs) for grants that states must agree to in order to get the grant money.
The American people have seen this over and over again. Every time the government sets out to "fix" a problem, the problem doesn't get fixed, it gets worse. Why? Because the government must be able to justify its existence and growth. And the government does that by perpetuating the problem while claiming it is doing just the opposite. If the problem goes away, so does the funding, the personnel, the growth of big government. Can't have that, now, can we? Thus it has gone with every social issue the government has addressed.
Have the American people learned? No, the American people, by and large, still hold to the belief that the government owes them something, owes them security, and is there to see that they are taken care of. And the government certainly has done nothing to dissuade that line of thinking since such would be counterproductive to the growth of government, and would, therefore, be self-defeating.
And the states, every one, are experiencing financial difficulties. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
How do we cure this problem?
• Cut social programs and the taxes supporting those
social programs. Such will allow mothers to return to the home where they
belong when children reside there.
Such would cure most of the problems known to our country today.
© 2003 Lynn M. Stuter - All Rights Reserved
Mother and wife, Stuter has spent the past ten years researching systems theory with a particular emphasis on education. She home schooled two daughters, now grown and on their own. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas. Web site: www.learn-usa.com E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"The American people have seen this over and over again. Every time the government sets out to "fix" a problem, the problem doesn't get fixed, it gets worse. Why? Because the government must be able to justify its existence and growth. And the government does that by perpetuating the problem while claiming it is doing just the opposite."