Political reaction to the Parkland student massacre painfully affirms America is no longer a family-centered society, nor are our schools sanctuaries devoted to children and their growth.

It is inspiring to see students begin to stand up for themselves with slogans like #Enough is Enough and #Never Again. Surely the vast majority of parents and teachers will stand behind them.

Changing gun laws might lessen school shootings, but it will not end them. So children will continue to live in fear and regimen. The key to ending them is uniting family and school.

Our schools have developed a test score accountability to meet standards set by higher education and employers. These competitive school cultures put students on the defensive, often fostering bullying and resentment, the main sources of school shootings.

But if schools were to recognize and respect that students have an inner guidance system, then students would begin to trust teachers more as mentors, and peers more as partners. The school and family – teacher-youth-parent – would have a natural bond.

Present education is trying to make children into what they think they should be, and their reaction and lack of motivation clearly tell us it doesn’t fit them. Build education with them, and their academic and personal achievement will soar.

The first job of education isn’t preparing students for college or jobs. The first job is helping them fully realize their conscience. That requires helping them develop their inner guidance system.

Joseph W. Gauld

founder, Hyde Schools

Bath