As I was putting my 15 month old to sleep last night, I decided to scroll through my twitter feed and came across a tweet from The School Safety Advocacy Council. They host School Safety Conferences as well as a National Conference on Bullying. The tweet said, “School Safety must be a 365 days a year issue, not only when a Major School Shooting occurs.” And I personally could not agree more.
We all fall into this trap including myself. There is a “hot issue” going on and we want to all get behind it, until slowly it becomes forgotten. ( I did it not too long ago by investing in crypto currency! ) We see a school shooting happen and social media explodes with prayers, well wishes and pushes for change within our laws across the nation. However, sadly, time passes, small changes are made, and the push for school safety fades away until another tragedy happens. THIS IS AN INEFFECTIVE REACTIVE APPROACH!!
Just think for a minute. What if, instead of reacting to a school shooting, measures were put in place to prevent it from happening all together? What if schools staffed a trained security officer who is passionate about keeping the students safe? This officer would develop relationships with the students. Talk to them, ask them how their day is going or how that big test or game went. Develop a level of trust. The sheer presence of this individual can deter tragedies from occurring.
Teachers would also benefit from this individual actively patrolling the building. Should they double as a security officer while teaching? Should they hold the burden to carry a firearm and have to potentially point it at one of their students? In my opinion, absolutely not. As a child of two educators, I was able to see firsthand their hard work, countless extra hours grading and preparing meaningful assignments and deep level of care for the students that they educate. For as much work as they do and as little pay as they get, they too deserve an environment that is safe.
Being proactive is crucial to the mission of both student and faculty safety. Let’s put measures in place NOW to prevent incidences from occurring in the future. Lets make sure the students and the faculty at these schools know we care.
Until next time,