School Safety and a Parent's Worst Nightmare


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Yo Mama
August 13, 2009, 11:20 PM
I have posted lately about my fears of children with guns. I know it's discussed alot, but I'm worried about another aspect of firearms and children.

School. The children we have are young, and no where near school age, but at night stories on the news about shootings at schools keep me up.

Recently, in AZ where I live, a kid in an elementary school who was 14 brought a 9mm to the school planning on shooting the principal. We hear stories all the time about this, and it's really disturbing.

The gun was unloaded thank God, and his friends let officials know that he brought this gun to the school.

What are your thoughts on safety involved with schools (gun free zones :banghead:)? Are schools with Police Officer's more safe? Are schools utalizing new resources to protect our children?

Thanks.

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kingpin008
August 13, 2009, 11:27 PM
IMHO, any child that brings any type of weapon to school with the intent to use it on another human being (especially an authority figure such as a teacher or principal) is the real problem, rather than whatever weapon they choose to bring.

Also IMHO, schools with security guards/police aren't mecessarily more safe than any other place without them - people who commit these types of crimes aren't stupid, and often times plan to encounter some type of police or security resistance - with the solution being to go right through them. While a security guard or police officer may offer another level of immediate response to such an individual, so could any other armed citizen.

meytind
August 13, 2009, 11:30 PM
I believe schools with police officers are no more safe than schools without them unless the school has mandatory back pack checks as the children walk in. In that case, an accomplice can just open a side door for the potential shooter. That's the same reason metal detectors don't really work. It's not possible to have security guards at every entrance at all parts of the day either. If someone really wants to do something, they will find a way to do it. That's just human nature. The only way to guarantee your kids never have to go through a school shooting is to home school them, but that is an issue I'll leave to others to discuss.

ThrottleJockey72
August 13, 2009, 11:34 PM
IMHO, any child that brings any type of weapon to school with the intent to use it on another human being (especially an authority figure such as a teacher or principal) is the real problem, rather than whatever weapon they choose to bring.
I'm going to do you one better and say that since we are talking about CHILDREN, they are not the problem. The parents and lack of parenting are really the problem. As parents, we need to quit blaming our children for our shortcomings. Yes, I do understand that some kids are just bad, but I also feel that had we as parents done our job properly from day one, most of that could be avoided.

mljdeckard
August 13, 2009, 11:36 PM
The main thing I want to do is try to calm you down. Statistically, these events are so rare, and the number of killed and injured is so small in the grand picture, it's really like worrying about your crashing in an airliner. Many millions to one. The anti-gun media seizes on these events where a handful of people get killed, and report on it for days, ignoring the hundreds who are killed in major cities (with strict gun control laws) in the same timeframe.

Columbine had an armed security officer. He escaped without firing a shot.

I live in Utah, which is one of the few (if not the only) states that allows me to carry in my kids' schools. But even if I drop them off and pick them up every day, this is a small percentage of the actual day I can be there.

All a 'gun free zone' is, is a place where a shooter knows he can go and there will be absolutely no one there who can stop him. There is only one thing that will stop a shooter. Another shooter. Or he'll save the last bullet for himself. If you want to make sure he never gets to the last round, you can A: wait for the police, or B: HOPE that there is someone closer. That's the reality.

jfh
August 13, 2009, 11:38 PM
While I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the 'kids at school with guns' stories, it makes sense to keep in mind that school shootings, mass or otherwise, are very rare. Statistically, I think kids stand a greater chance of being struck / killed by lightning, or dying during football practice in August.

As for utilizing new procedures--particularly in the elementary and middle-school grades, various states have implemented programs to encourage kids to tell teachers / responsible adults immediately about a kid with a firearm. Basically, these programs follow the Eddie Eagle format of 'stop-leave-tell an adult' for teaching kids about firearms when not involved in approved activities.

Beyond that--I don't think there is much you can do--except help teach your own children the right attitudes about firearms and the appropriate place for them.

FWIW, a friend of mine, older and with older children than mine--which were three and birth at that time, pointed out to me that "child-rearing is a continual process of letting go." As a (former) professional educator, I think that's true--we are always trying to raise our children to become independent entities, and to learn to care for themselves. The fierce parental protectiveness needs to be tempered with pushing them off, so to speak, as in learning to ride a trike, and then a bicycle.

Finally, you might try to look at your concerns, particularly if they still exist after reviewing what steps are being taken in your children's schools. If this issue is keeping you awake nights, it might well be time to talk to a counselor--professional, pastoral, or friend.

Jim H.

fireman 9731
August 13, 2009, 11:42 PM
Worrying about it wont help a thing.

Metal detectors, backpack checks, ect., wont keep guns out of schools. Teaching kids shooting, hunting, and fishing skills keeps guns out of schools.

Go to the root of the problem.

cuervo
August 13, 2009, 11:50 PM
If home schooling is an option for you, you can solve two problems at once.

If not, as mljdeckard mentioned, school gun violence is statistically very low, it is just reported at the drop of a dime. That is not to say that schools don't have violence, gangs, drugs, and many other bad things. The best you can do is teach your children what and who to avoid.

Yo Mama
August 13, 2009, 11:51 PM
Thanks for all the quick replies. The topic is such that I think we all worry about it at one point or another.

The advice about letting go....well I know it has to happen, and will, but I'm not sure I'll ever stop worrying.

The information about statistics is also a reality check. Yes, it's a very small chance, which these things are thankfully rare.

I wish people would wake up, and arm our teachers so they can protect our children. Not sure if that's the answer, but would make me feel a bit better.

If home schooling is an option for you, you can solve two problems at once.

I hope it will be, but with finances, it takes two earners to keep our house running. We'd have to get creative, but are discussing how to plan for this as it fits with our values also.

gunnutery
August 13, 2009, 11:55 PM
Having an armed officer in the school is somewhat similar to having armed officers in a city. They're still not going to be present when and where the incident happens. They will have to locate, navigate, and get to the scene. I realize this isn't going to happen anytime soon, but we need to allow teachers to be armed. Just like we need more law abiding, reponsible citizens to be armed. It'll be more likely that the incident will be much shorter and have less loss of life and limb.

rbernie
August 14, 2009, 08:16 AM
We hear stories all the time about this, and it's really disturbing.
From a purely statistical perspective, your kids are far more likely to get stuck by lightning walking home from school than they are to be caught up in a school shooting incident. Incidents with guns in schools are really pretty rare - you just hear about EVERY SINGLE ONE because of the drama factor involved.

From a risk management perspective, there are probably a million things that are more dangerous to your Spawn than guns in schools.

AJM
August 14, 2009, 08:26 AM
My wife is a teacher, and is not allowed to carry at school for 2 reasons: 1. it's a school 2. it's in Wisconsin
She does have a permit to carry in other states, but the one place she would specifically want to carry is at school. As remote a possibility it is for someone to come in and start shooting, she feels awful that she has no real ability to defend the kids other than to throw chairs at the shooter. My point being that there are teachers out there who take their responsibility for the safety of your kids seriously when they are under their watch.

el gato
August 14, 2009, 08:30 AM
Quote "An armed society is a polite society". Arm the teachers and the staff. If you will notice, the vast majority of mass shootings occure in place's where the perp is fairly sure no one else is armed.

Just One Shot
August 14, 2009, 08:32 AM
Alot of schools are installing metal detectors for this very reason.

There is a school in Texas where the principle has authorized a number of undisclosed individual teachers to CC while at work.

By keeping it a secret then anyone considering doing something wrong won't know if the class or teacher they are targeting has a firearm. This seems like a pretty good deterent to me.

KarenTOC
August 14, 2009, 09:00 AM
The advice about letting go....well I know it has to happen, and will, but I'm not sure I'll ever stop worrying.

My son is 37. I still worry :) Worry is natural. You just can't let it control your life - or your child's.

DeepSouth
August 14, 2009, 09:02 AM
If home schooling is an option for you, you can solve two problems at once.
I hope it will be, but with finances, it takes two earners to keep our house running. We'd have to get creative, but are discussing how to plan for this as it fits with our values also.

Homeschooling seems like the best option, if you ever start you will never regret it, no matter the financial strain. The sacrifices one has to make to home school are far out numbered by the benefits.
Also in areas where the local school systems are classified as "failing" there are Gov 'incentives' available, but most of our local systems fall out of that category so I don't know much about them. I hope it all works out for you.

dieselkanic
August 14, 2009, 02:11 PM
Quote "An armed society is a polite society". Arm the teachers and the staff. If you will notice, the vast majority of mass shootings occure in place's where the perp is fairly sure no one else is armed.
agreed!

oneounceload
August 14, 2009, 03:30 PM
Are schools with Police Officer's more safe? Are schools utalizing new resources to protect our children?


Absolutely NOT - if they need cops with guns, then they are n't safe to begin with, are they?

Take the problem children, introduce them to some corporal punishment, hold the parents AND kids responsible for abhorrent behavior, and institute a zero tolerance towards those kids - and WOW, school like it was back in the 50, 60 and 70's where there was no trouble.............

As a former elementary teacher, don't get me started

neverjeg
August 14, 2009, 03:37 PM
Better than armed security would be a change in attitude of the adults in the school. As a parent I've been ready to come to blows with teachers and so I can image how the kids feel.

My son is in an alternative school because of medical issues, but 99% of the students there are "troubled". That being said, I have never been in a school with happier students! They are all smiling, enjoying learning, and for the first time in many of their lives excelling! Why?

From the principle to the teachers to the janitor - the adults respect the kids. These are high school kids that hang out with the principle after school and share their work with him. They chase him down the hall to show what they are working on. Why? He really shows an interest in every one of them. He is out front every morning waving to them, welcoming them, and encouraging them to have a great day. He means it. He is very strict - but at the same time that strong arm is balanced with reason, common sense, and compassion. The kids are treated like adults. Sure, they make mistakes (as adults do) but rather than being demeaned - they are talked to respectfully like an adult.

Rather than take their trouble to school with a gun, they take their troubles to the principle or teachers who have as much time as the student needs regardless of the hour. They are met with total acceptance and a "we can solve this problem" attitude. It is remarkable to see this place in action. Last year they graduated 100% of the seniors that we're failing and dropping out from the main stream.

Two rules. No back talking teachers. Show up for class.
You don't like it here - there's the door but we hope you'll stay.

It's a people problem that the schools are facing but the teachers don't seem to see their role in it.

Impureclient
August 14, 2009, 03:50 PM
My aunt worked as the head cafeteria aide for an alternative school here in FL and from what she said it sounds like it was run
the same way as your son's school neverjeg. Now if only the rest of the schools would follow and take some pointers on why the kids in
these alt. schools are so happy to be there.

rawhide
August 15, 2009, 12:51 AM
I am a teacher and like a couple have stated here I fear not being able to protect my students and myself. We are required to exercise an Actice Shooter drill once a year. It is a sick feeling to be defenseless.

I've done some reading on the subject. The most thorough research I've found to date can be downloaded at:

Pretend 'Gun-Free' School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1369783

(edit) May be easier from this site: http://works.bepress.com/david_kopel/10/

Some very interesting info.

A shorter version (much shorter) can be read here.
http://davekopel.org/2A/OpEds/Gun-Free-Zones.htm

Additionally, not every student that brings a firearm to school does so to harm classmates or teachers. In some very rough schools students may carry a firearm for protection.

bhk
August 15, 2009, 07:04 AM
Your kids are statistically far more likely to be killed with a gun outside of school than within a school. Regardless of what appears on the news, schools are among the safest places in a child's life.

otcconan
August 15, 2009, 10:53 AM
Two words: PRIVATE SCHOOL.

Blackbeard
August 15, 2009, 02:30 PM
Two words: PRIVATE SCHOOL.

It's no less likely to happen at a private school than a public one. Rich kids are just as likely to be mentally unbalanced, and probably have access to a better class of weaponry.

Babbalanja
August 15, 2009, 02:42 PM
Not to worry as schools are gun-free zones.

Kevin77
August 15, 2009, 02:43 PM
You could move to Utah where we have for the moment managed to avoid outlawing guns in schools. I know some teachers that have permits and carry at school. I don't think they're even required to tell the principle.

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