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This morning, I called a friend who is a Facility manager at a large company in Phoenix, Arizona. She said let’s talk later. She said, “I’m pretty busy right now, we’re running a fire evacuation drill.”

That got me to wondering, how often companies and schools run drills? Drills of every kind. There are drills for natural disasters: Fire, Tornado, Flash Flooding, Earthquake, Hurricane etc.

And in our current daily life, we must also be aware of and prepare for Terrorists, and Active Shooters. Sometimes the violence comes from within the walls of a company and the perpetrator is a disgruntled employee. At other times, it is a student who is angry at their teacher, school administrator or even a fellow student who is bullying them.

Less frequently these days, and I am thankful for this, the individuals doing the shooting are not domestic terrorists. That is not to say that any actions taken by our law enforcement organizations have reduced the threat or possibility of violence from someone who is not a US citizen.

Statistics would seem to show that we are killing our fellow American citizens. 

Terrorist and Active Shooter drills are a sad fact of life today. The number of drills that are mandated by the states for schools is essential. Is it adequate? I don’t know.

This article was originally written the day before the latest terrorists shooting at Stem School at Highlands Ranch Colorado in which 18-year-old Kendrick Ray Castillo heroically lost his life protecting his classmates as he fought to stop the shooter’s rampage. Kendrick sacrificed his life that others would live. w

A 2018 BBC article analyzed the number of US school shootings in which at least a life was lost or there were individuals wounded. In 2018, there were 113 killed or wounded in 23 shootings. .

Statistically, that means there was one shooting every 8-days. That study is based upon a 180-day class year and the 23 school shooting in 2018.

What happened to fighting on the school playground to settle differences? How about those old-fashioned pushing and shoving matches that involved forcing another kids up against a locker? Or invitations to take it out on the playground after school? School fences used to protect our children from chasing a ball into the path of a vehicle passing the school. Fences can’t stop bullets.

Arming teachers with weapons or having guards with guns on school campuses is not the answer. I believe choosing that solution only teaches that disagreements must be managed with force, whether it’s with guns, other weapons of choice or even using a vehicle as the weapon.

Does Might Mean Right?

Once the school day is over, guns move to the streets. If individuals do not know how to manage their anger, fury, rage or even the small disappointments that everyone experiences, they will resort to the weapons they know, have seen and are familiar with.  

Without training in non-violent methods to manage disputes, quarrels, arguments and misunderstandings, the quick and easy solution is to pick up a gun. The outcome for some in these situations may be death. 

Corporations teach Conflict Management, Dispute Resolution, Anger Management. They hire outside consultants and invest in programs that will help their employees “Play Fair” at work.

Let’s put some serious funding into training our children how to” Play Fair” too. This should involve teaching them to #Negotiate. #MakeTrades. #ExploreOptions. #DiscussDifferences.

Learn how to #CalmTheInnerAnger. #CountToTen. #MeetInTheMiddle. #BeALeaderNotAFollower

Our children need the adults in their lives to follow the same rules. Be the Role Model your children need.

School administrators negotiate and maneuver legislators into funding these programs. Corporate Executives partner with schools to support these programs. The children reach with #Negotiation and #DisputeResolution programs will be your managers and executives tomorrow.

We all must be responsible. Our children deserve it.

Mary Redmond is a top-rated female professional speakerauthorconsultant and business coach.  She is a negotiation and body language expert that instills confidence, inspiration and expert knowledge that sets up her audiences for success.