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School Security in Question


The recent spate of school shootings, including the recent tragedy in which a truck driver killed several girls at an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, has thrown a spotlight on school safety. How safe do you feel at your school? Can events like these be prevented? Do you think the addition of metal detectors and more security staff would help, or would they lead to an unfriendly "lockdown" atmosphere that inhibits learning? Are there other measures that should be considered?


Many schools have keypad style entries that are a very good idea. But they are not completely safe because you always have the factor of people letting other people in because they look like they belong there. Many teachers are friendly people and feel uncomfortable letting the door slam on someone who may be a parent or a visiting administrator.

I think that the "unfriendly lockdown atmosphere" that metal detectors and security staff would bring is far preferable the sense of fear and danger that prevails right now. It's ridiculous that many schools security systems consist of one unarmed security guard shared with other schools in the area, 911, and prayer.

The most disconcerting fact is that I used to walk through our city's circuit courthouse on my way to work every day. Anyone who has been in a courthouse knows that most of them require you to pass through a metal detector before entering. In fact, I have been in courthouses in Tennessee, New York and Virginia (former lawyer) and I have never seen one without a metal detector. This is often said to be done for the safety of the judges but it also has the benefit of protecting criminals.

What a sad state of affairs that many cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect criminals but they cannot or will not shell out extra funds to protect our precious children.

I really don't buy the argument that many schools district that have the funds for these additional security systems but are choosing to spend the money elsewhere. Although having worked as a budget officer for a municipality I know anything's possible. It just seems to me that if schools were given designated funds for security they would use them to upgrade security.

I understand there may be restrictions on how much control cities and states can impose on local school district budgeting. But federal dollars received nearly always have tight restrictions placed on them. (NCLB anyone?)

It's just a shame that millions of dollars we need to keep our schools safe at home are being spent in Iraq. But that's another topic for another forum.

Have a wonderful day and blessings to all the teachers who would place themselves in harm's way to teach and protect our children. Thank you for reading!

Usually it is kids within their own schools who are causing violence. Locking the public out only serves as a false sense of security. By locking doors we are also locking out parents, potential volunteers and voters who can support our schools. Locking doors does more damage than good.

Does it not seem obvious to anyone else but me (and probably most people outside America) that your "right to bear arms" is the cause of the outrageous violence in your country and others? Guns are banned here in Australia and while there is the odd ocassion where gun violence shocks us, we certainly have not come to regard it as a commonplace event. We certainly would NEVER expect it to happen in schools, certainly not elementary level schools. At high schools the worst we may get is a threat against a teacher or a knife being produced (which are also banned). In fact, our government has banned all weapons of violence and we do not have a right to bear arms -nor do we feel the need to do this, which leaves us with the right to enjoy a peaceful and safe existence - isn't that what freedom is all about?

I agree with you Kathy. Unfortunately the 2nd Amendment is a victim of incomplete drafting and misguided interpretation. It has been misinterpreted for so long that the misinterpretation has become the common law.

Americans actually only have the right to bear arms "in order to form a well-regulated militia." This obviously refers to the fact that when the bill of rights was drafted, people were getting attacked and didn't have a standing national guard to protect them.

However, this part is left out for convenience and now gun supporting Americans just run around screaming "We have a right to bear arms! We have a right to bear arms!" Well, not literally but you know what I mean.

Plus, you have all these guns that are circulating in the States already. I heard a statistic many years ago that there were enough guns in the US to arm every man, woman and child. I'm sure it's skyrocketed since then. It's like now that we've let the guns into the country for public use, there's no getting rid of them. And with so many of them in the hands of criminals, it just justifies the cries of "right to bear arms" more. Some people even feel like having a gun is tied up in their freedom.

It's a sad fact, but unfortunately, guns in America are here to stay.

What beginning to scare me is the fact that there is a small, but growing, group of individuals who feel that classroom teachers should now be armed!

If that's not putting our children at risk, I don't know what is...

It takes a Community to raise a child
The violence, struggle and pain is right up in our face--and the faith we step out on, can leave a nasty taste..
Babies come into this world, every single day--yet there are no safe ground, to let our children run and play..
We live in this place called Myrtle Beach--yet for us , we have to walk lightly on our feet..
Years ago the peace and tranquility was so fresh and clear--there was so much beauty, it covered up the painful tears..
The tears of abuse, rape, neglect buried beneath the green grass--but today those secrets speak out loud from the past..
Some parents live in denial--the real, it takes a community to raise a child..
Back then everything was silent within the family--as the weak struggled to be free..
But that silence has been broken by the hateful, the mean--by children that don’t care about being seen..
These children destroy and maim as they make they’re way--hurting, cussing, shooting, killing innocence each and every day..
Its as if they love to hurt others--and by that I mean sister, fathers, even mothers.
This meanness that comes from our kids--is so hard core, we shiver in the shame of what our kids did..
To think that my child could kill--and do it just for a rush or thrill..
5 homicides in Myrtle Beach this year--our children murdering filling our neighborhoods with fear..
Parents we got to stop living in denial--we got to remember yesterday, it takes a community to raise a child..
By> Patricia Robinson--7/13/06--10am

I would like to respond to several of these comments. You can use metal detectors and stop guns from entering a school, but that alone is not going to stop the violence either. First, to take away the right to bear arms in America is not going to solve the problem in the schools. As stated earlier, many of the "killers" are students within the school!! How do you keep them out. If they were not allowed to have a gun, then they would build a bomb. The directions are easily found on the internet. Or, they would run a big 18 wheeler truck on to a playground or use some deadly drug to kill. Guns are not the only weapon that can be used. Look at September 11 when the planes flew into the Twin Towers. It took no guns and killed thousands. I agree that we need to do something but just taking away the right to bear arms is not the solution. (By the way, I am not a right to bear arms activist. I don't even own a gun.) We need to find out why these acts are taking place and address that issue. America is a very stressful place to live. Stress kills!

Oh my goodness, Patricia, you Rock!!! Did you write that?

test response

My suggestion for safer schools in America includes: getting 2 peace officers (police) standing in the main (and the only way to get in) hallway. This is generally located right next to the Business Office, secretaries, vice-principal and principal. This needs to be the only way into the building. I would want them armed. I would also like to see electronic poles (like those found in stores) which any student or visitor would have to go through. If the alarm sounds, one peace officer should have a wand to determine the cause of the alarm (generally metal, eg. guns, knives). The other peace officer could make sure that all students and visitors continue their flow of traffic through the metal detector. Is this expensive? I'm sure it is, but aren't our students, our children, and the safety of all of the adult staff worth the expense? YES. Perhaps a grant is needed by each state to their State Department of Education. However: I would prefer that this issue be taken (with approximated costs) to Homeland Security and the President of the United States. It is a Federal concern, not a state concern only. We are providing money to other countries to help them rebuild their countries, feed them, clothe them, etc. A LOT of money is directed out of the USA. Although honorable in attempt: Let's put the American School System first. Then allot money to be sent outside of the USA. I take that back. Something else is of major concern to the American Public. We have enormous amounts of citizens who cannot see doctors for lack of medical insurance and who have to spend food money on medications that are necessary for them. Mr. President: Look homeward. Let's fix Americans first. Let's make our country schools a safer place to learn and produce the next generation of citizens first. And, find the way to provide medical/medicinal insurance for the mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents. Medicaid ends when your child becomes 18.

Do you remember a time when schools did not have metal detectors, kids did not carry guns, knives and other such deadly weapons to school?

Perhaps this was a time when ethics, social norms and a sense of community in which people existed was quite different? Perhaps the education system, family unit, family debt and other social structures worked differently... (better?)

Adding more guns, more police, more technology is a way of treating the problem, certainly not curing it and not looking at the source.

Why don't we turn the ship around.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • enigma: Do you remember a time when schools did not have read more
  • Bonnell Beatty, MA going for ECE certification: My suggestion for safer schools in America includes: getting 2 read more
  • ar: test response read more
  • Kelli Stewart/Elem Ed: Oh my goodness, Patricia, you Rock!!! Did you write that? read more
  • Teresa Ballard teacher: I would like to respond to several of these comments. read more




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