School Safety and Security from Sea to Shining Sea
- By Ginger Hill
- Apr 30, 2013
From the East Coast Boston bombings to now the West Coast town of Valley Springs, California, where 8-year-old Leila Fowler was found stabbed to death in her home, security and safety seems to be a heightened reality in the minds of Americans. Gone are the days when you can simply allow your child to walk to school, play outside in the yard alone or even now, leave them in the “safety” of their own home, as the Fowler family has so horrifically discovered.
Yesterday, sheriff deputies made their presence known, on foot as well as in patrol cars, at Jenny Lind Elementary School, where classmates carried flowers for Leila as terrified parents and the shaken community congregated in response to the tragedy.
According to the Calaveras County Coroner’s Office, the little girl died of shock and hemorrhages caused by multiple stab wounds minutes after arriving at the hospital.
Currently, no suspect has been named and police have only a few clues to piece together at this point:
- Leila’s brother said that he and his sister were home alone on Saturday.
- Leila’s brother said he saw an intruder leaving the house.
- Leila’s brother found his sister stabbed.
- Fingerprints have been collected.
- A collection of what the police believes to be DNA has been collected.
- Fingerprints and DNA – hoping to be processed within the next week.
From these clues and Leila’s brother’s account of the incident, police are searching for a white or Hispanic male, muscular build about 6 feet tall, wearing a black, long-sleeved shirt and blue pants.
While it’s clear that Leila’s tragedy occurred in her home, her school felt the need to heighten security protocols due yet to another horrific situation.
As I pass through all the school security articles and news on a daily basis, I am really shocked by the majority of the headlines:
“Polson Schools look at beefing up security after Newtown Tragedy”
“Elementary school Increases Security in wake of Sandy Hook”
“Schools Increase Security following Sandy Hook Tragedy”
“Security Guards now Armed at Butler Area School District”
“Tragedy Spurs Dracut Girl’s Quest for Safer Schools”
From this brief sampling from a quick Google search, I bolded the key words that are troubling, because they all reflect the fact that schools are waiting until a tragedy occurs to take an on-going, active role in school security.
I pose this question: “Why wait until tragedy strikes, whether within your neighborhood, across the nation, or in another country BEFORE you take an active role in helping with schools' security and safety efforts?”