What’s It Going to Take to Make Our Schools Safer?
Unless you have been completely out of touch, you know by now that the second worst school shooting in U.S. history behind Virginia Tech happened earlier today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. At last report, 27 were dead, including 20 children, several adults and the shooter. It was hard to imagine anything like this happening 30 years ago, but now we have been witness to Paducah, Columbine, Virginia Tech and now Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., a town of 27,000 and a place where something like this might have seemed impossible.
We have come to the harsh realization that no school or community is immune anymore to this type of tragedy that goes beyond comprehension. The sorted details are all over the news, the web and social media. The question now is, what can we do to make our schools safer?
After Columbine, I was talking with a friend who asked me that question. I responded by saying that maybe we have reached a point to turn our schools in fortresses surrounded by high concrete walls and armed security checkpoints, exterior patrols and perimeter alarms, which ironically sounds a lot like a prison, but maybe that's what it's going to take.
Have we gotten to a point where absolutely nobody gets near the campus without clearing the checkpoints...NOBODY? It's really scary to think that's true, but we may in fact be there.
Since Columbine, school security has improved tremendously, but obviously and sadly, not enough and total lock-down may be the only answer at this point. Children are our most precious resource in any and all cultures around the world and nothing in this world carries a greater value than a human life.
The time has come for some serious action to protect our schools. I know others may ask what we do about protecting malls, office buildings, movie theaters and stadiums as well as the schools. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that, but the schools would be a great place to start. Please say a prayer for the families of those who were lost and may God bless their precious souls.