Sandy Hook Promise

Like many of you, I vividly remember the day of the Sandy Hook school shooting. As a mother of a young son at the time, I was overwhelmed with shock and despair. Following that unfathomable tragedy,  I truly believed that finally something would be done to end the continuing gun violence in our country.

Unfortunately, there was no change and we have had far too many moments of silence since Sandy Hook. Our children and communities deserve real action to stop the epidemic of gun violence that now defines our country. Like the students in Parkland, Florida and across the country, so many of us are feeling that we need to do something to make a difference now.

The movement is finally gaining momentum and for each of us who cares strongly about this issue, we have an opportunity to be part of the growing call to action.

In addition to advocating for sensible gun laws, we must work on changing the culture in our communities and schools. We CANNOT accept that school shootings are now just a reality of our society. We must do everything in our power to stop this madness. And that includes working to stop gun violence BEFORE it starts. This is the focus of a national nonprofit called Sandy Hook Promise that was founded by a mother whose young son was murdered at Sandy Hook. Take a look at the website and you will be inspired by their efforts to provide no-cost, violence prevention programs to schools and communities throughout the United States. SHP programs empower students to create communities of inclusion, recognize the signs of someone at risk of harming themselves or others, and to “say something” in order to get them the help they need. Over 4,000 schools have already implemented Sandy Hook Promise programs nationwide and we can bring them to Marblehead and our surrounding communities as well.

We can and must do more to increase our capacity as communities to look out for and care for one another and keep our children and their teachers safe.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it will inspire you to continue to advocate for sensible gun laws and to check out to discover things that we, as a community, can do now to prevent further tragedies.

--Tricia Charise, Green Street

To The Reporter's Editorial

Our society has become very polarized. Discussion and debate are healthy. Opposition to any opinion that isn't yours is not. I borrow the following from the book "Origin."

"Is this equation correct?
XI + I = X (11+1=10) No.
Turn this around and you get:
X = I + IX (10 = 1 + 9) Yes."

It depends on which side you view the equation. Perhaps we could be a little more flexible in how we view our problems and potential solutions.

The Reporter recently printed an editorial dismissing the proposal that a select few qualified teachers have access to firearms at schools, in case of attack by a gunman.

After two years active duty in the US Army, I spent a number of years in the Army Reserve. My men were citizen soldiers whose occupations ranged from truck drivers to airline pilots to lawyers and even school teachers.

Every state has a National Guard composed of citizen soldiers who are trained and called upon to defend our country. They are armed and capable. School safety is the responsibility of state and city officials. Each municipality can decide what is best for themselves. Dismissing the suggestion as absurd and branding its proponents as ludicrous are not helpful. It reminds me of a certain president and his tactics.

--Wayne Stemmer, Peabody Lane