Students should be thanked for insisting that the public hears them when they say they wish to feel safe, while they try to study. It is their job. and they need to come to adulthood well prepared for the challenges they will meet.

In addition, adults should want those students to be safe and do what adults can do to improve the situation.

Why are people bringing violence to the schools? The answer to that must be found in order to change those behaviors. And how can government be made to work for all the people so that it can become the tool it must become to meet the social and psychological challenges the nation faces as it drives into uncharted territory?

In the meantime, schools can become sites where people can think together about what is happening in this culture and what can be done to redirect it. For example, Lewiston and Auburn could organize a group to think together about alternatives and share that thinking with the rest of the world and invite the world to critique it.

In addition, since gaining ideas is not something that can bring immediate results, students might request their schools to be better prepared should tragedy visit. For example, basic first aid can contain bleeding, enhance breathing and prevent paralysis — saving lives for seconds or even minutes until first responders arrive. Shouldn’t everyone over age 8 or so be competent at that?

James Tierney, Auburn

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