An Open Letter to the Adults of the USAAs an American educator of secondary and college students for the past 43 years, I would like to know where the responsible adults— school personnel, parents, police, politicians, et. al—for our nation’s youth are hiding. Our country has become beleaguered with a staggering number of mass school shootings over the past several years, and no one is taking a firm enough stand on what to do proactively to curb these atrocities. After each incident the gun activists and their vehement opponents do their politically insignificant dance, and even the most endangered of our our species—our children, k-12—are totally forgotten in the fray. Indeed, these students are not given a passing thought-until the next shooting incident. The Parkland massacre and subsequent marches across the nation seduced the adult public into believing that “this time” something would surely be done to eradicate the problem. However, the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas proved that indeed another such incident occurred, and little to nothing is being done about it! The primary reason for such ineptitude among all of the adults who are responsible-and seemingly doing nothing- is that they are focusing on only one of the salient issues involved-gun reform laws. The inclusion of gun possession in the US Constitution makes it an undying rallying cry today, tomorrow, and always. However, in truth, it is not only guns that are the real issue but rather the fact that over 90% of the young male school shooters from Columbine to Newtown to Santa Fe were BULLIED in their schools and chose the slaughter of their teachers, classmates, and school personnel as their method of payback. When will the responsible adults begin to tackle our nation’s problems of bullying in all of its manifestations and ramifications? Will all of us responsible adults ever opt to stop wringing our collective hands and come together instead to collaborate to create and develop effective tools and strategies to ameliorate harrowing bullying violence before our current teenage population is annihilated. A good start would be to investigate a tool created and developed in New York which has shown remarkable results over the past few years. It is an electronic school safety platform named Bridg-it, which represents an APP on students’ phones, computers, or other hand-held devices. The students are then able to use Bridg-it to:
- Make confidential electronic reports to their school authorities that they or someone they know will are being bullied and need adult intervention
- Access an electronic library with over 1000 book, media, lessons, assignments that affirm restorative practices and justice to the bullied and bully alike, and provide school authorities ongoing analyzed data regarding their students’ bullying behavior on and off school grounds and related problem areas.
The implementation of Bridg-it has already achieved noteworthy results in once troubled NY and CA schools. For example, one principal saw the incidence of bullying in his school reduced over 75% over 4 years; and in another school, Bridg-it was the primary tool used in the prevention of a teen suicide!It is imperative that we as responsible adults do all in our power to save our current generation from mass destruction! Bridg-it and its viable components represent an excellent first step! Dr. Michael C. Gillespie Professor Emeritus The City University of New York June 22, 2018
To see if your school system is participating in Bridg-it or to request a referral, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule a demo, please Click Here. If your school is not signed up, you can reach out to your school’s Superintendent, School Safety Officer, or Principal and request Bridg-it be launched in your school.