ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION'S website, schools "continue to be one of the most secure places for our children," statistically speaking. But the NEA's "Safe Schools Program" for communities and schools shows that it isn't ignoring conditions that can lead to violence. It aims, among other things, to reduce bullying, provide resources for counseling and anger-management, increase communication among parents, teachers, and students, and introduce programs that teach values.

I saw only cooperation while I was helping out at a community fair a few weeks ago. I enjoyed watching the children make masks, have their faces painted, fly kites, and just plain have fun. They were serious, funny, self-assured, cute, and earnest. And perhaps most precious of all was the joyful innocence that shone through even the tougher looking ones.

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