As our nation mourns the loss of innocent life in Newtown and Sandy Hook, Conn., we know there will be a painful national debate on how to keep such tragedies from occurring. As an American, I have strong personal opinions about guns, but this is not the time or place to express those opinions. But as a construction professional, vocational educator, and as a father, I have some thoughts about something that we can do right now to begin the healing and address part of the problem:
First, they should bulldoze the Sandy Hook Elementary School down and haul away every memory of the building where these atrocities occurred. No parent will ever want their child to step foot in there, let alone those who were there to witness the events of December 14, 2012.
Second, we as a nation should call together the best minds in education, architecture, law enforcement and the psychological sciences to design a new school to be built in this community, one that would provide every child the optimal opportunity for growth and enlightenment. These professionals should collaborate to identify the key objectives to creating a safe and nurturing environment for the children of this community, an environment where the greatest possibilities of a young mind can blossom and grow.
Third, we should begin a national effort to identify communities all across America that could benefit from such a transformation of dilapidated and wholly inadequate schools, and bulldoze them to the ground, as well and rebuild centers of education to the likes of which the world has not seen before.
Such projects would inspire young college graduates to enter the teaching profession who are now shying away. They would generate good paying construction jobs in communities where such work is desperately needed, and they could be centers of inspiration and support for the entire community.
While our politicians’ debate and gun lobbyist lobby, this is something we should all be able to agree upon right now with almost no debate at all, making the education, mental development, and safety of our children our country’s top priority.
A wise man once said, “You are not what you dream, you are what you do.”