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Normalize violence?

Mexico has high violence rates yet the worst thing we can do is learn to “live with it” and modify our behavioral patterns while authorities do little to control criminal activities
Shoot-out drill at a public school - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
03/01/2018
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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There are several areas in the country with high violence rates yet the worst thing we can do is learn to “live with it” and modify our behavioral patterns while authorities do little to control criminal activities.

At least 5 out 10 items within the “Safety Protocols for Federal Higher Education Centers” fall within the statement above as part of the recommendations on what to do in certain cases related to crime. High school students throughout the country shall thus learn what to do in case of shoot-outs and confrontations between criminal groups or federal forces within or nearby their schools.

These protocols were launched in 2010 at elementary schools given the high violence rates present at some areas but now they will be adopted by all public high schools in “virtually the entire country.”

It's understandable that schools need guidelines for accidents during field trips or at the facilities, or even bullying, but recommendations on how to keep yourself safe in case of violent situations are only reaction measures – the potential education centers have to implement prevention actions is being completely wasted.

This protocol is aimed at the level of education which currently has the higher dropout rate of the entire education system in Mexico. The Ministry of Public Education is proposing safety measures, however, they should also propose measures to increase retention and raise awareness about the importance of Mexico becoming a country where Rule of Law exists in all regions. Young people who have dropped out of school are the main targets of criminal organizations looking for recruits.

The goal of the protocol is to “structure, strengthen, and broaden the capabilities of schools to face several adverse circumstances.” What needs to be stressed here is that teachers and students should consider the recommendations as eventual incidents, otherwise, the future of our country will be grim if we resign to live with violence instead of finding a way to change our reality.

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