Beefed Up Security in Schools Shows the Effects of Sandy Hook Remain Fresh
As school gets back in session over the next couple of weeks, the conversation about school safety and security is naturally coming up again. In a time when parents and families are more conscious about the possible dangerous and harmful crimes, schools and cities are trying to adapt in different ways. While there is no surefire way to stop a school shooting or crime from occurring, there have been a couple of different approaches. In continuing our coverage of school security this week, I wanted to showcase some of the measures being taken across the country.
States allowing certain personnel to carry firearms/weapons on school grounds: Connecticut, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Utah, and South Dakota. This is arguably the most extreme measure, as it actually brings guns into the buildings in the hopes to prevent someone from causing too much harm. I think it is tough to really say this is the best measure because it tries to prevent violence with violence, but we won’t know how effective it is until the measure gets called upon.
States allowing the addition of school police, security officers, resource officers or volunteers: Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, and South Dakota. While the presence of security guards and police officers certainly makes a school seem more secure, that doesn’t necessarily prevent anyone from taking action. Psychologists have also questioned the effect these guards have on the minds of students. Living in constant fear may be a hard way to learn, and the guards serve as a reminder.
Changing/expanding emergency preparedness drills: Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, Illinois, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Montana, and Oregon. It comes as a surprise to me that more states haven’t done this, as the drills seem like a cost-effective way to become better prepared. Not only do you not have to buy any new tech or equipment, but you can also help communicated ideas and practices to students related to school safety more frequently.
State-funded school safety centers or related entities: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas. It is hard for me to really quantify the work these centers do because they each try and attain different goals. Ideally every state would have some federal funding to help develop these centers, but it looks as if the schools themselves must shoulder the burden of budgeting minimal funds for these types of projects.
Posted by Matt Holden on Aug 27, 2014