Why not teach anger management in school?

The world would be a better place if so many people weren’t so angry.

So an angry Wisconsin man’s idea makes a lot of sense, even though it probably doesn’t have a prayer: require an anger management class at some point in school.

Dan — the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jim Stingl isn’t using his last name — has gotten in trouble a time or two. He completed a program this summer called Beyond Abuse after he was arrested on domestic abuse charges in a fight with his daughter.

“It was suggested by the judge, but not ordered, and also suggested by my attorney, but not ordered, that I attend a class about anger management. I thought about it and decided, you know what, maybe this isn’t such a bad thing,” Dan tells Stingl.

It was a good thing.

The squabble with his daughter turned physical and he threw her to the floor, causing bruises. He also had bruises from the altercation, but he was the one arrested. He felt like a switch flipped and he was acting on the rage of his younger self.

“I could have turned away. She could have turned away. That’s something I learned,” Dan said.

Beyond Abuse was offered at Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee. Dan went every Tuesday morning from January to June. About a dozen students on average, all male, were at each class, most of them younger than Dan and nearly all of them ordered to be there by the courts.

“People learn violence in their relationships early on. Mostly kids learn it from zero to 5. They learn that violence works. They see it role modeled,” said Carmen Pitre, who runs the program.

And that’s where Dan’s idea makes sense. If kids are already learning that violence works, why not teach them that it doesn’t?