Opening the Conversation

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At the April 29 Board of Education meeting, interim superintendent of schools Jim O’Neill discussed the increased exposure children now have to coarse language, hate and violence.

“We frequently hear educators, sociologists and others say that young people today are exposed to information and issues they previously did not receive until they were much older,” he said. “This reality is now evident in every community in the United States.” O’Neill added that the most alarming thing students are now confronted with is the “increasingly commonplace” violence in schools. He ran through a flurry of recent headlines focused on school shootings, gun laws, and active shooter drills.

O’Neill said the district plans to do its part to help its students navigate through these experiences, by increasing awareness and discussing any issues that may occur. But it is not simply mass shootings that pose a threat; there are incidents that are far more common and more insidious.



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