According to news reports, the 6-year-old accused of shooting a teacher at a Newport News, Virginia, elementary school is unlikely to be charged with a crime. That decision highlights something that’s long been true: We just don’t know what to do about violence by small children.

The existence of violence by children, though rare, inverts the simplest fact of life: We adults are here to protect children. We are not supposed to have to protect people from children.

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