Saturday, December 15, 2012

The President Had It Right.


CHICAGO, IL, December 15, 2012 – The news from Sandy Hook Elementary School is simply overwhelming. The President had it right that these were “beautiful kids” who will not experience some of the joys and triumphs, and even the disappointments and temporary setbacks that we experience as we journey through life. He had it right that we have “endured too many of these tragedies.” And he had it right when he acknowledged that “we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

His acknowledgment can easily, but mistakenly, be construed that it is only politicians that must work together. In general, we all probably have a pretty good idea how and why these tragedies happen. Meaningful action does not only include those actions that prevent these tragedies within minutes, hours or even days; they must be actions that start years in advance with loving, nurturing and stable experiences for our children.

There must be nothing less than a complete change in our national culture that children are not the property or sole responsibility of parents. The President had it right, these are “our children,” and as good stewards of our most valuable resource, we all have a stake and responsibility to each child to promote healthy child development and a meaningful transition to adulthood as a contributing member of our communities. Services like home visitation, parenting information about child development and age-appropriate expectations, bullying prevention programs, and adequately staffed, and available, human services for all our children and their families can help prevent these tragedies from ever happening.

We know what it takes to have our nation strong militarily, economically and morally...we just have to have the public and political will to do all three of them.

If the end results of this tragedy are that protocols may not have been followed or more security at schools is needed, as a nation we will have to acknowledge that our President had it right and we all got it really wrong.


Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972 in Chicago, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide. The organization promotes that vision through a network of chapters in 50 states and 530 Healthy Families America home visitation sites in 39 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. A major organizational focus is to advocate for the existence of a national policy framework and strategy for children and families while promoting evidence-based practices that prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring. To learn more about what we’re doing to prevent child abuse and neglect and how you can help, please visit our websites, here and here.

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