First off, everyone effected in any way by the horrific school shootings in Connecticut today will be included in my prayers. There isn’t a decent soul in this country that isn’t grieving for those innocent lives that were lost today.
I have a mild glimpse of the emotions going through every citizen and child involved in that horrible crime. A few years ago, while living in Payson Arizona, I received a call from a friend who informed me that my children’s school was in lock down. Someone on school grounds had seen a man wearing a trench coat, carrying a gun, walking around the school’s premises.
With our home just a few blocks away from the Elementary school they attended, you’d better believe that I was there in moments. The police were there, sweeping the area for the suspect, and all I wanted to do was take my kids home.
That day, I was filled with so much anger and aggression. The thought that my kids had to hide under their desks, with the lights turned off, while police officers swept through the school, made my blood boil. There is not a child in this world that should have to experience that fear, and knowing that mine had to, brought me to tears.
The events of that day were no where near the magnitude as the tragedies experienced in other parts of our nation and in Connecticut today.
What can be done to prevent school shootings and better protect our children?
After the 9/11 airline hijackings, extreme precautions were put into place to prevent that from ever happening again. When the bombing in Oklahoma occurred, barriers around public buildings and distance restrictions were put into place.
What have we done in our school systems, not to just minimize the chances, but to prevent this from ever happening again?
I may just be naive, but here are a few of my ideas:
- Form a Security Agency for School Systems. Create an agency specifically for this purpose and call it the NESF, National Education Security Force, or something. The number of guards at each school would depend on the size of the school. Give them an office space were they’ll have access to security camera’s and be able to monitor everyone approaching the school. People will always argue that most schools don’t have the budget for this, but I am willing to bet, after today’s tragedy, most parents would be in support of a tax raise for this very purpose, if it had to come to that. There are ways to find the funding.
- Security Camera’s. If the Security Agency sounds too drastic, then let’s get some camera’s installed at all entrances which would be constantly monitored during school hours.
- Medal Detectors. This one would be kind of tough and I’m not sure how effective it would be, but every school could get medal detectors installed at every entrance. The events in Connecticut occurred when school was already in session. If the office was alerted of someone entering the building by a medal detector, maybe something could have been done.
- Volunteer Security Force. Given, there would have to be strict requirements for those looking to volunteer, but just as I volunteer to teach my daughters P.E. class, parents could form a committee designed to keep watch…sort of like a neighborhood watch program.
- Train Teachers/Principals Defense Tactics. Should it be a requirement, with everything else a teacher or principal is required to do, to take courses specifically designed towards protecting their students? Can we go as far as installing a small “gun vault” in the principals office for protection? I am all for training teachers how to defend and react, which I’m sure there are those sorts of programs already, but I’m not so sure the gun vault would be a good idea. We’re trying to keep guns away from our schools, and putting one in every single school could back fire, or would it?
Just a few ideas for thought. After the events of the potential gunman at my kids school in Payson Arizona, they installed a rod iron fence around the entire grounds with only one entrance, which was the front door. How many schools are in existence which haven’t had something like this happen to them yet, which also don’t have anything place to better protect their students? Too many!
So please, to whoever might read this, let’s work together in creating a safer environment for our children to learn in. With the increase in bullying, the mentally disturbed and terrorists at large, we, as parents, must be involved directly in order to make a change.
I like to hear some of your thoughts and ideas. Leave a comment below if you’ve got one.