The three “r’s” , reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic are very important but one does not lead a happy, healthy productive life without the fourth “r”, relationships. Without social skills, bullying and even violence could occur if one doesn’t belong to the in-crowd.
We all need to love and be loved.
A younger child looks up to an older one. An older child who has an appreciative youngster tagging along is more in likely going to behave responsibly.
When larger groups of humans, especially the young, are collected together there is always a jockeying for position. This will always leave a fringe of outsiders.
Building new large schools is not the answer. Closing small schools and having students ride the bus an hour or more does not contribute to good social skills. For the good of our young people, our communities and our country, we must keep the small schools open so good social skills can be fostered.
At a summer camp I am involved with, we went from age grouping to interest grouping. We had eight to 14 year olds in successful drama and sport camps.
The Columbine and Taber disasters were caused by young people who did not have good social skills. The best security in the world is good relationships.
Experience as a leader of 4-H , Girl Guides, Cub Scouts, Girls Club, Sunday School teacher, bus driver, mother, grandmother and great grandmother leads me to these conclusions.