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Letter to the editor: Kindness can defuse violence

A great deal of thought and energy is being given to confronting firearms. This is warranted. What seems to be missing from the whole debate is what each individual can do to make the community a better place. Each person can make a difference. Each student in each school can make a difference.
When every student accepts their responsibility to be thoughtful and kind to their classmates, then the horrendous bullying at the base of so many of these terrible acts will decrease dramatically. When each student treats others as they wish to be treated, we will end the isolation and crushing damage of bullying being done by nasty actions at school and on social media. This will decrease the hurt and anger of those who have been, and would be, victims which sometimes trigger a violent response.
Adults need to teach young people how to define problems, consider approaches and choose the most constructive course to take. When individuals use reasoned problem solving, better choices will be made and the community will be a safer place.
The solution to the problem lies within each of us. Ask yourself what you can do to make things kinder, safer and more peaceful.
Marion Bauer
Middlebury

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