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What have we learned from Columbine?

It has been over ten years since the Columbine tragedy.  It appears from this article: that the police have learned a lot about dealing with this type of “active shooter” situation.  Though the new tactics didn’t help at Virginia Tech. or Northern Illinois, it seems that part of the solution to preventing or limiting these types of situations, may hinge on what we as parents, teachers, coaches and students can learn from these events.

We all spend so much time worrying about our own issues that it is hard to maintain our awareness of what is happening around us.  Ignoring the needs of others can sometimes be enough to send someone into that dark place where their mind begins to contemplate the actions that eventually took place at these schools. Can we take a few minutes to reach out to the “loner?”  Can we be a little more accepting of someone else’s differences and attempt to find some common ground on which we can identify with each other’s humanity?  Once we have labeled someone we take away that which connects us to each other and makes it so much easier to take steps down the path to another Coumbine.

Ed Kress
For over 35 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. Along with local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed has developed a program which focuses on teaching personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains as well as their bodies. Ed began his martial arts career when he started wrestling in 8th grade, taking 1st place in the Chicago Park District City Championships. He later wrestled varsity at Mendel Catholic High School where he was a Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion. During his college career at North Park University he was a Conference Champion and 2-time NCAA Div 3 national qualifier. He was on his way to qualifying for the 3rd time when a neck injury ended his college career. His record that year was 17 - 0. He continues to wrestle as Head Freshman Wrestling Coach at Loyola Academy. A position he has held since 2004.

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