Perhaps it is the policy advisor in me, or the fact that I get really upset thinking that my five children may not be properly protected while in school, or I all the calls to ‘do something’, have gotten to me- so here are six ways to help prevent school shootings, as suggested by a conservative teacher with a degree in public policy from a top east-coast school:
- Allow more guns in schools. Lost in the school shooting tragedy has been the news from the other tragedy, the shooting at the mall. There only two people were tragically murdered by an evil person, because as the coward attempted to reload his gun he was confronted with an armed citizen who pulled out his own gun. The shooter’s next move was to take his own life, rather than continue his rampage and kill more innocent people. But at the school shooting, much like other school shootings that have taken place over the last several years, the scum was able to wander the school killing innocent people without any fear of being gunned down himself, because in both his fantasy world and in the real world he had no one would could oppose him. If there were more guns in schools- not less- than school shootings would not have the death tolls that we are seeing today.
- Armed administration. Law-abiding citizens who go through extensive training programs and considerable background checks should be able to legally carry and defend school children from evil people who would do them harm, and this should be part of an administrator’s job description. The man who runs the gas station up the street carries a piece; the manager at many job sits carries or is legally able to carry; and so administration in our schools should be allowed and trained to carry firearms. I’m not suggesting that we just pass out guns to teachers- they should go through teacher specific training, spend considerable amount of time in the range, have the proper background checks, and then have continual updates and training programs. Put guns in the hand of administrators- or at least make sicko’s think that they do- and there will be less school shootings purely because of the deterrence factor. See this article for more.
- Push for every high school to have a police school liaison officer. A Police School Liaison Officer is a law enforcement officer assigned to the school. The purpose of having a PSLO at school is to assist the school in maintaining a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors. The PSLO interacts positively with students to gain confidence and trust. Students who choose illegal behaviors are held accountable by the PSLO through referrals to Social Service or citations. The PSLO actively supports the schools policy to discipline student behavior that threatens the health or safety of others. Funding for this program should be secured and and every school district should have one of these people in every high school, and perhaps another one split between the middle schools as well. I know that for elementary schools this sort of cost could not be justified- but at least high schools and maybe middle schools should be part of this program.
- Better lock-down drills. At my school district, our principal sends out an email to the whole staff letting us know when a lock-down drill will occur, that information is passed on to students, we run the drill and most teachers continue their teaching without change, and afterwards we receive no feedback. We practice the lock-down procedure in our school as if it is a joke- and when we really need to lock-down in reality I can only hope that the results will not be a joke. Lock down drills are important, and I hope that after the last several school shootings that principals around the nation will take them seriously and run them properly- unannounced, as if for real, calling in the SWAT teams, and providing feedback to teachers after the drill. Even the drills themselves need some work- there should be multiple locations to call for lock-down not one exposed PA system, for example. Better lock down drills might save lives.
- Building improvements. The MEA President was right about one thing- buildings need to be improved to protect students better. First change that needs to occur is that efforts must be made to limit access to buildings. Perhaps this will cost some money, but access to school children should be more tightly controlled than current ‘open door’ policy in schools, so school should redesign their main entrance ways to control the flow of visitors better. Second change that needs to occur is that doors need to be strengthened and locks need to be able to withstand some real blows from a psycho who may be trying to enter the door. Administration has keys and the fire and police have real ways of entering doors, but the little lock I have on my door into a hole in the door frame isn’t going to stop someone from busting in and gunning us all down. Simple and effective improvements to school buildings, although costing a little bit of money, can improve student safety in our schools.
- Training for staff. Professional development days for staff and administration should include time and training for self-defense, disarming attackers, how to hide effectively, where to run, locating safe areas in the school, and other measures to address staff and student safety. We are not trained or required to be trained, and these sorts of skills are as important to our professional development and safety as some of the other training that we have received over the skills. I’m not suggesting that we all learn how to be ninjas or anything- just once a year we get an hour or so to maybe get up and practice some techniques or take a tour of the school or get some other needed training that could save our lives and possibly the lives of the children in our schools.
Above I have laid out six constructive policies that can be implemented at the state level to address school shootings- I only hope that our nation goes beyond mere ‘discussions’ on taking guns away from law-abiding citizens and begins to seriously take real steps to protect staff and students.
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher