March 18, 2012
Parents should discuss feelings with their children
To the editor:
“Children shot by another student!” screams the headline.
Somewhere in this land, a teenager sits on his bed, staring at a firearm and considers that killing one or more of his fellow students will solve his distress. Some popular, high-achieving kids, bullies or an ethnic group gave him feelings of inferiority. Bullets appear to be the answer. After a while, he puts the gun away, clears the deadly fog from his head and picks up his book bag to finish his studies.
This probably happens every day in America. We only know about the murderous attempts and completed shootings when they are spread like influenza through the news. Every media consumer asks the question: What made that kid do it? I would ask what caused the 999 others who contemplated destruction to put the gun back in the cabinet?
Where does that invisible line between normal behavior and insanity lie? Children and teenagers have high rates of behavioral disturbance. School shooters represent the most dramatic of public outburst. If I tell you that one of every three or four students has emotional, learning, social and self-control issues that affect everyday school performance, would you believe it? How about the competency of parents?
Ten percent of kids are seriously affected by an absence of successful parenting. Ask any teacher that you know. He or she will back up my statistics.
I can only advise the community to seek preventative solutions. Parents, do you discuss feelings and relationships with your children? You should, and you should know the quality of their thoughts. Parenting classes, enrichment and preschool programs, student counseling activities, anti-bullying education, firearm safety classes and plenty of accessible mental health care all enter the equation. A shooting has not happened here, and it need not happen.
M. Douglas Becker
Heritage Center seeks volunteers
To the editor:
If you love history and would welcome the opportunity to meet people from around the world, you might want to consider becoming a Chambersburg Heritage Center volunteer.
Your duties would include welcoming visitors, answering their questions and being a cashier in the Heritage Center’s gift shop. You also might be asked to help with office work or lead tours. We will try our best to match the work that needs to be done with your skills, and to accommodate your schedule.
Ideally, you’d be able to commit a few hours at least once a month, or more frequently as needed. Free parking would be provided.
The Heritage Center is a starting point for exploration of local history. The exhibits and videos inside the center provide an opportunity to learn about the founding of Chambersburg, its frontier life and the Revolutionary War, as well as local Civil War and Underground Railroad history. It is a Pennsylvania Civil War Trails site.
If this sounds like an interesting opportunity, you may call 717-264-7101, ext. 214, or stop by the center at 100 Lincoln Way East on Chambersburg’s Memorial Square. The center is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jeanne Newvine, coordinator
Chambersburg Heritage Center
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