USA Today Letter to the Editor - July 11, 1999
TEACHING IS MORE THAN JUST FACTS AND FIGURES
USA Today reporter Charisse Jones misses a very important point: It's useless to spend money on security without first addressing the reason security is needed ("Back to school, guardedly," Cover Story, News, Aug. 4).
Students aren't bringing guns to school simply because there are no metal detectors, and they can get away with it. They're bringing guns to school because they are troubled kids who need understanding more than they need punishment.
No problem ever was solved with irrational thinking and drastic measures. The problems facing our schools can be resolved when - and only when - parents, teachers and administrators stop running around in circles and start looking at the real problem: Their children are killing children because of hopelessness and ignorance.
If we teach our children to be good people, virtuous and competent - and not just good students - we'll move a long way toward ending the crisis facing our schools.
We don't know how to teach our students to function in society, a flaw within our educational system. We only know how to teach students facts and figures from dusty textbooks that were written to meet the goals of education during the Industrial Revolution.
We're living in a new age, and we need a new system.
So while the rest of the country runs around banning black clothes and baggy jeans, we at The Council for Global Education will continue shaking our heads in dismay and counting the dead with each passing day of the school year.
We know better. Society should, too.
Sunita Gandhi, President
The Council for Global Education