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Are Police in School a Good Idea?

One week after the Virginia Tech tragedy, school safety is the topic on everyone’s minds. But the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass., offers a different take on the issue in its story, “Wasted Resources? Some educators question whether police presence in schools can curb violence.” In the piece, staff writer Rebecca Correa examines whether students and faculty feel—and are—safer when police officers are in-house. A student tells Correa that there is a deterrent effect. “For kids that even think of doing anything, they know there’s a cop in the school,” he says. But Bill Preble, a professor of education at New England College, believes law enforcement is better suited to investigating school threats than reducing threats overall. “We’re always looking for quick fixes for complex problems and although it might be well-intended, (police presence) is something administrators can do to look good…It is not a serious response to the problem.”

Wherever you stand on the police presence issue, it’s interesting to consider it in light of all that’s been written about what the police could or should have done in Blacksburg last week.

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