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Episode 196: Lucy Butler Pt 3: Vaccinating Against Violence

This is part 3 of our conversation with Lucy Butler. Lucy is a special ed teacher who at the start of the 2021-2022 school year was given the assignment of working with all the students in her high school who had failed ninth grade the previous year. Last week Lucy talked about empowering her students by giving them more choice. She taught them how to write SMART goals for themselves. It was inevitable that the subject of gun violence in schools came up during our conversation.

“How insane it is,” Lucy says, “that part of my job as a teacher is thinking about how to protect my students against a gunman.”

But then Lucy found a way to transform the discussion into a hopeful message.

“What I’m doing is the very best strategy,” she said, “is helping people to feel successful, to feel that they have choice and to feel that they belong. I’m inoculating these kids against violence. I’m giving them the support of belonging and of feeling success. We’re inoculating them against a dysfunctional future. They are developing the skills to create their own success.”

We do bring the conversation around to horses. The links are important. No matter who your learners are, Lucy is sharing a hopeful message.

If you have friends with school-age children, I hope you’ll share this conversation.


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