- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 20, 2018


It takes a parent to raise a child, and there’s no hands-free app for that.

Here again is yet another reason why parents must step up and into their children’s lives.

At 1,600-student Great Mills High School on Tuesday, an armed school resource officer stepped into the danger zone and mortally wounded a young gunman who had shot two teens. That is how it should have been.

Security was tightened a month ago at Great Mills following what were, at that time, unsubstantiated threats.

Great Mills parents on Fox 5 News were frightened and livid Tuesday morning, saying more needs to be done to make schools safer, including installing metal detectors and handheld wands. They are absolutely right, of course.

Parents also need to do more. With and for their children. At home. At houses of worship. At family gatherings. On their children’s electronic platforms.

They don’t want to have to do something else, like a couple in southwestern Michigan who turned their son over to authorities. The teen’s stepfather said their son told them early Sunday that he planned to shoot up Paw Paw High School because he was being assaulted at school following an internet post of him in his underwear. The assaults included the boy being hit in the throat.

Distraught, the boy told his parents that he had stolen guns from his grandfather, cut the weapons to fit inside a bag and planned to kill the students who had assaulted him. The parents alerted authorities, who arrested the boy and charged him with several weapon- and bomb-related crimes. Again, that is how it should have been.

That is how it should have been in Lake Wales in central Florida, where a 16-year-old boy used a baseball bat to beat another teen to death over the affections of a girl. Bat boy, who confessed, had three prior battery offenses, two against the dead boy.

Now, we all know that teens can fall in love one day and that emotional switch could be flipped in the opposite direction in a heartbeat. That’s why it’s parents’ job to monitor their children’s “love connections,” ask the who, what, when, where and how of their relationships.

Let’s call it the White Heat Approach. You know what I mean: If it’s hot, it’s too fast. If it’s red hot, it’s too fast and unhealthy. If it’s white hot, it’s too fast, unhealthy and unsafe, and it’s time for intervention.

Children come to this Earth not alone. They come with parents, whose job is to ensure their safety at home, at school and at play.

To do so means not waiting on laws to your job.

Being a parent delivers blessings and rewards.

Stop waiting on laws and lawmakers to do your job. There is no substitute for the word parent.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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