Usually when you send your children off to school, it is assumed that they are in the good hands of trained teachers and school administrators determined to make your child’s experience at school a safe and pleasant one. However, with the events of last week’s Sandy Hook school shootings, the question of school safety is certainly a hot topic and needs to be addressed.
The sad truth about school shootings is that is seems to be a growing trend and more common these days. Back when I was in school, the thought of someone showing up a school with a gun was very far fetched. Sure there were some weirdos in my classes but I never, never ever felt like I was in danger at any moment in my schools, even during my college days.
But that was then and things are totally different now. Since the school shooting in Connecticut, there have been 3 incidents in my state of Minnesota with students getting arrested for making threats of shooting up the school. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that some mentally disturbed kid is probably planning for the next school shooting and let’s hope and pray that this person will get caught before they follow through on their plan. These incidents seem to inspire a certain group of individuals and they would like nothing more than going out with their 15 minutes of fame.
So what can be done to prevent these shootings and bring safety to our school children? If I knew the answer, I would probably be appointed to some commission. I am not a school administrator but I think there are certain steps and procedures that can help ensure that any carnage is kept to a bare minimum.
First of all, I strongly believe that a gun or guns should be available at a school for officials to use in case of an emergency. They could be properly trained on how to use a firearm and what to do if certain situations occur like a shooter or shooters enters the school. I do not think all schools need an armed security guard or police officer but that could certainly help as well. I would gladly being willing to pay a few more property tax dollars so that my school district has the money to hire these people and make our schools a little safer. It is a proven fact that places where people are allowed to have guns are far less of a target for thugs than those place where guns are banned.
I also strongly believe that any warning signs of an individual should not be taken lightly. A common denominator in all these school shootings is some warning sign. If a kid writes a paper about his or her fascination with guns, shooting people or violence, that should certainly raise a red flag about someone. In the Columbine incident, those signs were ignored and unfortunately, it led to the deaths and injuries of many innocent people. Also school officials should have a hotline number for students or people to leave tips about what they here from other students. These people are with any potential killers the most and are probably most in tune with their behavior. Nobody knows a classmate or friend more than a person who actually hangs out or socializes with them. Students should be encouraged to call authorities if they see something alarming.
Parents obviously have a crucial role in preventing these tragedies. They are also around these people a lot and can see things about their children that most people cannot. They should immediately take action if they see any of the warning signs. Sadly, many parents just ignore their children until it is too late. I often wonder how a kid gets access to a high powered assault weapon as well or just any gun. Do the parents have some place locked for those guns? I guess common sense dictates that keeping weapons away their children is the proper thing to do especially if their kids seem to be not right mentally.
I really hope that we can have some good dialogue in the near future about this growing problem in our country. What happened last week in Connecticut is totally unacceptable as well as the other shootings. There will always outcasts in our society who want to do harm and take out their shortcomings on other people. This should not happen in a place where we send our kids to be educated. This type of violence could occur anywhere and your kid could be the next victim. Let’s take some steps before another incident takes place and another group of people lose their lives way too soon.