It’s Time to be Proactive When It Comes to School Safety

It’s Time to be Proactive When It Comes to School Safety

It’s Time to be Proactive When It Comes to School Safety

School safety isn’t a new issue or concern. It is something parents and educators have worried about since the first school opened. Despite everything the media and certain activists would have you believe, the push toward making schools safer isn’t a new phenomenon. However, what is new is the lack of common sense solutions being proposed. It’s not that schools don’t want to be safe. It’s that their hands are tied by those who would rather react to a situation than take steps to deter it from ever arising.

Can any of us forget how, several years ago after a school shooting, a so-called expert told us the way to keep our students safe was for them to throw their text books at the shooter? I don’t know about you but that sounded to me like a pretty good way to get the person throwing the book shot and, quite possibly, anyone sitting near him. Oh, it might give the other students a chance to get away but still. . . .

Then there is this option proposed by police in Panama, Oklahoma. Police there have been testing to see which text books might stop a bullet.

But better yet, students carry their books around in backpacks. That means they have more than one book they can use as a shield. There are a couple of problems with this solution that come immediately to mind. First, there are a number of districts that have banned backpacks from their classrooms. Students have to leave all but their books in their lockers or cars. Second, a backpack is fairly small when compared to the rest of the human body. A heavy backpack is going to take time to grab, swing into position and hold there. Time a student might not have when responding to an active shooter situation. What part of the body should they try to protect? If they protect their heads, they can’t see where to go or what it happening in front of them. If they protect their torso, they leave their heads and legs vulnerable. I could go on.

Then there is this story out of Clio, MI where the school district is “arming its classrooms with supplies.” Now, before you get excited, it’s not supplies that will help deter a shooter. No, using buckets supplied by Walmart, the classrooms are getting supplies of gauze, bandages, water. “You know, necessities in the situation that we have to be in a long-term lockdown.”

In other words, “we’re going to assume we’ll be victims and are simply doing what we can to keep the death toll down a little.”

The district has also been trained in “ALICE, alert-lockdown-inform-counter-evacuate.” I guess that’s saying something until you really look at what the program is. Alert is good. You want to let your faculty, staff and students know there is trouble. Lockdown is also good — assuming you have taken certain precautions. Inform? Awesome. Let everyone know what is happening. Counter? I got excited here — until I read what ALICE says it means by counter.

Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. Counter is NOT fighting.

You are locked in a classroom. If the shooter gets in, what movement and distance are you going to be able to do to get away from danger? Distraction? Are we back to throwing books?

Instead of reacting, school districts need to take a proactive approach, something that will deter potential shooters — or bombers or stabbers or arsonists — from hitting their campuses. Here are several excellent suggestions for what should be done.

  • Provide active-shooter training to staff and students, preparing them (as with fire drills) to react clearly and calmly in the event of an emergency.
  • Make every locked-down classroom a self-contained safety zone by investing in tinted, bulletproof glass and reinforced locks.
  • Provide at least one well-trained, adequately armed police officer in every school and a well-planned emergency procedure to avoid uncertainty among first responders.

I would add making schools not be “gun free zones”. Send teachers and administrators through advanced weapons training and then post the school campus with a warning that teachers are armed and will respond with deadly force to protect their students.

It is past time to stop reacting to the problem of not just the sort of school shootings that make the news. It is time to take steps to stop the gang violence. It is time to stop the drug dealing. It is time to start acting like adults. To do so, you prevent the problem with methods that don’t tie your hands and make it easier for the miscreants to act.

Hold your school district and its administrators responsible. Let them know where you stand on keeping all our children safe.


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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    investing in tinted, bulletproof glass
    Hmmm, tinted glass… which would effectively make the classroom interior hard to see by, say, a supervisor concerned about after-class tutoring sessions….
    Bullet-resistant/proof, yes. But let’s not create another potential problem (which is much more prevalent) by “solving” a very tiny portion of this one.

    Create Noise, Movement, Distance and Distraction
    This works great. If the threat is a bull or large cat or hyena. It doesn’t work AT ALL if it’s a human being bent on hurting people with a firearm.
    Leftists really do think we’re all herd animals.

    But, Amanda, you know the biggest thing that needs to be done to help this?
    That’s right, we need to go back to insisting that a certain value set of morals is actually right and good and makes our civilization strong. Until then, we’ll continue to see the sorts of tragedy that occurred in Sandy Hook and Parkland.

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