The riots that recently had London in flames were far removed from us here in Southern California, but maybe we can take a lesson from those events.

Much has been said and written about how things should have been done differently. More force should have been used. It should have been used earlier. The legal system should have been less lenient.

Some even suggested that the military should have been called in.

I’m no authority on how to quell a riot, so I’ll leave such matters to others. Yet, I find it interesting that most of the rioters were teenagers. And you know what that means!

Yep. In a few days they’ll be back in school. And you know what? Their teachers will not have clubs, tasers, or guns. Yet, somehow, they’ll deal with those thugs and hooligans without resorting to so much as a slap to the face. In fact, most often they’ll work their magic without ever using a harsh word.

There will be great lenience, yet I predict there’ll be no school riots. There’ll be the occasional unruly classroom, but in most cases, teachers will go beyond merely controlling the thugs and hooligans — they will somehow manage to get those miscreants involved in positive activities and, believe it or not, teach them writing and reading skills that are at least good enough to enable the writing and reading of text messages (skills the clever little buggers use to outsmart and outmaneuver cops).

Teachers will not need guns to manage the hoolgans, and amazingly, neither will they need guns to protect themselves. You see, teachers know that even thugs and hooligans, when treated with respect, will usually respond with the same.

I’m not suggesting that cops are bad guys, and I’m not suggesting that hooligans are darlings. I’m not suggesting that teachers have answers to all our problems. (After all, good teachers don’t give the right answers; they ask the right questions.) Yet, at times I wonder if our world might not be a better place (kinder, gentler?) if our political leaders, our police chiefs, our military commanders, and others in positions of authority were required to spend at least three years teaching in an inner-city classroom.

Am I asking too much?

OK, then, a year in any classroom will do. Pre-K through 12. Your pick.

No, I’m sorry, but a month of teaching Sunday school won’t suffice.

Dan Pietsch