In the wake of the latest school shooting, I am wondering what we as a nation should do to prevent this ("Teacher killed trying to protect students from gunfire at Nevada middle school," Oct. 22). After having experienced this type of tragedy first-hand earlier this year in Taft, I have come to a couple of conclusions.

We as a society have failed our kids. We have loved and protected them to the point where they cannot handle adversity. What happened to "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? It almost seems as though words are worse the sticks and stones anymore. We need to teach and prepare our kids for life. Explain that in life there will always be people who you do not like or do not like you. Get used to it. You don't need to go on a shooting rampage when it happens.

I would also be in support of mandatory psych evaluations of schoolchildren every three years or when they are changing schools. This might catch some of these troubled youth, and it might also hopefully find other issues such as abuse,giving us a way to get these kids help.

Alan Hartley