Schools should be safe havens for children and places for learning and should never become theaters of war. At the UN in September, there will be pressure on every country to adopt military guidelines that include rules of engagement preventing schools -- like hospitals -- from being militarized or used as instruments for waging war in conflicts or civil wars. But the need is now urgent and immediate.
Tackling this terrorist threat demands that we help locate girls who are now in captivity and show Boko Haram that their actions will be met with reprisals. Surveillance and other equipment has to be made available to the Nigerian authorities to root the terrorists out -- but we must also make sure that schools are safe for children to attend. A new 'safe schools' initiative is desperately needed in Nigeria with measures that include guards to reassure worried parents that schools are secure.