My View: Crossing the line between school safety and stupidity
Lenore Skenazy writes that new security rules -- no holding the door! -- make us treat each other worse. Is that really safer?
January 15th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

My View: Crossing the line between school safety and stupidity

Courtesy Lenore SkenazyBy Lenore Skenazy, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Lenore Skenazy is a public speaker and founder of the book and blog Free-Range Kids. Her show “World’s Worst Mom”  - a title she once earned - airs on Discovery/TLC International.

This week, Schools of Thought publishes perspectives on school security. Tomorrow, a school psychologist reflects on how access to mental health care affects school safety.

(CNN) - In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, we are suffering from a very American malady: Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome.

Folks in the throes of PTSS are so traumatized by a tragic event that they immediately demand something – ANYTHING – be done to prevent it from ever occurring again. Even if the chances of it happening are one in a million. Even if the “preventative measures” proposed are wacky, wasteful, ridiculous - or worse.

On my blog, Free-Range Kids, I asked readers to tell me what their districts were doing in reaction to the Newtown shooting and thus I heard about lots of schools reviewing their lockdown drills – which makes sense, like reviewing a fire or tornado drill. But then I also heard from readers whose school administrators seem to have lost their minds.

One school, for instance, proceeded with its first grade Christmas concert…except that all the parents attending had to hand in their car keys to the office before entering the auditorium.

Because guns don’t kill people … people with car keys kill people?

At another school, this one just about as far away from Newtown, Connecticut, as possible - Anchorage, Alaska - the kiddie Christmas concert also was allowed to go on, but this year all the attendees had to sign in.

Personally, that sign-in thing has never made any sense to me, even in my town of New York City, where it is required of all public school visitors. I mean: If I’m clever enough to plan a terrorist act, wouldn’t I also be clever enough to get a fake ID, like any self-respecting 16-year-old? No one authenticates my driver’s license when I hand it over. The guard just takes down my name (or fake name, as the case may be) and logs it into a book. I sign next to it and sashay in.

How much safer is anyone - except the guard, who gets to keep this pointless job?

Other schools around the country have posted cops outside, sometimes in cars. But if those cops are really ready for mayhem, shouldn’t they at least be on their feet? Meantime, a school district in rural Iowa announced on its Facebook page that from now on the doors to every school in the area would be locked. If a particular school does not have a buzzer system in place (because we’re talking rural Iowa!), well then visitors, volunteers and parents must make a phone call to the school’s office and wait for the secretary to come open the door.

Another reader wrote that her child’s school now requires all students to wear their identification tags. (Because…why?) But my favorite post-traumatic stupidity involves a day care center that has asked all parents from now on to slam the door on other parents behind them. As the director explained in a note home: “One of the biggest concerns at this center is how often parents ‘piggyback’ on the parent in front of them, thus bypassing the need to enter the security code.”

Expect a fellow parent to hold the door open for you just because you’re standing there with a baby in one arm and a briefcase in the other? No way! This is a safe community, and a safe community treats all people, even the ones cradling their own children, as potential psycho-killers!

And so it goes, after Sandy Hook. Distrust. Panic. Terror. This feeling of being besieged on all sides used to be considered paranoia.

Thanks to Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome, now it’s considered proactive.

The opinions expressed are solely those of Lenore Skenazy.

What do you think? Read more perspectives on school security, and share your thoughts in the comments section.

soundoff (675 Responses)
  1. laurielima

    Thank you putting things in the proper perspective with sensitivity and humor. Jumping and popping after any tragedy seems to be what we do best. No foresight just reaction.

    The obvious...guns, locks, more doors, bullet proof glass Security Industries and hardware manufacturers just got a bump in revenue.

    The Teachers are going to be trained to "assess our children's possible mental health issues themselves" so expect an increase in Medications for our kids. The Pharmaceutical Industry just got a bump in their revenue. Please note there is no national conversation about the mental health of the Teachers or others employed directly with our children. ...

    So glad we are taking a "holistic" approach! (sarcasm)

    January 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Input Welcome

    Working Draft: Re: Letter to the President

    NOTE: Your constructive input is welcome.

    We, the people are deeply concerned about the following, which we request, as we the people, your immediate attention to if at all possible. The reason that we make this immediate request is due to the very real concern for the safety, well-being, and protection from harm of mental patients of all ages, religions, nationalities, gender, race, and ethnicity, etc., and disabilities in light of the recent tragedies that has placed a huge amount of blame on autistic persons, and mandates signed by you that could be construed to violate the rights of the mentally ill and their families.

    Historically, the mentally ill have been treated poorly in this country, much like those whom the revered civil rights leaders of our great country challenged all to provide equal opportunity, education, rights, judicial access and fairness of courts, legal systems, education, schools, jobs, housing, health care, etc.. Today, we are asking you to do the same for the mentally ill and their families, communities, and society as a whole (as all could be disabled from mental illness at some point in their lives – and historically – most are).

    While the power and politics of the system within which the responsibility for mental health practices, procedures, and policies encompasses many whom benefit and thrive, many of the patients and much of society are made to suffer the greatest of burdens and sorrow because of it.

    There are many reasons why so many suffer at the hands of the current mental health system, as you may well know. It is widely considered to be a system of care that is very deeply flawed by those whom are aware of the true realities of the way things really are in the mental health system, and/or the reasons and reasoning as to why the system is so flawed. To ask the patients to suffer through not only their illness, healing, recovery, and management of their illness at the same time that they must also suffer at the hands of this deeply flawed system places an inordinately undue and unhealthy burden and suffering on not only them, but on the whole of society as well.

    President Obama, the most obvious need that is not being considered in the last few weeks national affairs, in which you have so immediately made sweeping changes to the rights bestowed upon all of this great nation of independently minded souls, was one of the deep rooted anger that exists in the USA today, be it toward the mentally ill or gun rights issues or whatever. To single either one or whatever out for discrimination in signed action that will, in essence, limit the future and rights of every single citizen of this great nation, only serves to invite further victimization, discrimination and prejudice against all deemed to be or made to be in any group of similarly classified individuals. As outlined in the laws of this land, which you have sworn to uphold, and to which your pledge we honor as you do ours, as a united 'we the people' governed under a respected and trusted unifying law of the land, we humbly ask you to reconsider your recent actions under the same wisdom you value by your honor chosen mentors, and to whom, we thoughtfully agree to their mission of freedom and equality for all.

    The restrictions you have placed on the rights of the mentally ill are a closing of the door to the rights you honor with your pledge to defend, honor, and uphold for ALL citizens of the USA. We question the possibility now allowed that many might fall prey to those whom may wish to exploit and / or harm those with disabilities and related, or as ill guided control, or weapon of discrimination and prejudicial policies, practices, and procedures against any made to fall into this category of citizens or deemed to be in this category of citizen. This is now a great burden to all, and places many at further risk of harm, discrimination and prejudice, as you could well imagine given the need for revered leaders and movements throughout the ages.

    It is hard to imagine how banning guns can be such a problem, yet forcing the banning of guns on those at the mercy of a mental health system that is not prepared to deal fairly with such power to control, discriminate, and cause harm, exploitation, nor the loss of protected rights throughout the entire system of education, judicial, employment, military, health care, mental health care, security systems and officers, society as a whole and as individuals, families, communities, churches, non-profit groups, universities, the agencies set up to regulate all that can cause mental illness in our foods, water, medicine, practices, procedures, and policies, and ALL can be and ARE AT MERCY of this type illness and treatment without legal representation and supports, and a fair and equal judicial system, that this could truly be ok.

    Therefore, we the people, request humbly and with post haste to amend to these signed actions provisions that will allow for the furthering of reasoning throughout all levels of the greatest government system put in place by the people, for the people, and for which we are all pledged to honor and protect and defend as USA citizens of this great and wonderful land of which we know, that you, our chosen leader, will be able to see the wisdom of your forefathers and revered leaders and mentors as being the only true way for our nation to be for the people, by the people. Thank you and God Bless you in your leadership and wisdom as you guide this grand nation through four more years of being a nation built on the wisdom of many.

    Sincerely and with Deepest Respect,

    'We the People', USA
    January 20, 2013

    January 21, 2013 at 2:48 am |
  3. Sharon

    No school can be made 100% safe, not even with armed guards at every door. Even an armed guard can be taken down by a determined attacker. Limit doors in school? But than kids are at risk due to fire. There will always be something to fear. I think our best bet is to teach children what to do in an emergency and practice the plan. Arming the administrator is stupid they cannot be everywhere. Same with an armed guard.
    Maybe a controlled entry with bullett proof glass and custodians that do safety checks on doors several times a day.

    January 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  4. Trying to be a part of the solution, not the problem

    The tone of this article is off base and offensive. It proves that people respond to tragedies in different ways – some try to do something about the problems and come up with a solution that may work in their own communities and schools . . . while others on the outside point and make fun of their attempts to CHANGE something. I am more of a solution person and have thought a lot about Sandyhook and what could be done (starting with a mentally ill registry). I wish that this article could have been geared towards a solution vs. calling people stupid for trying to come up with solutions.
    It was a disappointing article and I shouldn't have wasted my time reading it. Now that I have, I can't help but comment. I have 3 little ones and do everything I can to ensure their safety. Accidents happen, things out of our control happen, at the same time – I'm a proactive parent trying to find resolution and hope for a brighter future instead of settling with "well, this is it – we can't do anything about it." If having a badge or something else in place could possibly help with the problem – then I don't see what the big fuss is over. Or even having to open a door with your arms full at a daycare (believe me – my arms have been full for most of my motherly experience) – if it could help with the safety, why are people having an issue with it?
    I wish that Sandyhook's bell system could have worked in this situation. I DO NOT live my life in fear. God does have control, although he lets wicked/mentally ill people do "stupid things". I acknowledge death is a part of this time in mortality and we can't always prevent things. At the same time, instead of complaining, poking fun and calling people's ideas "stupid" – why don't we work together to come up with solutions that work in our individual communities, strengthen homes and families and TRY to make a difference in an unrest and extremely confusing world?

    January 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Powers

      No, what she's calling "stupid" is coming up with stupid solutions.

      Are you really advocating doing stupid things just because they're "SOMETHING" that might work? Even if they don't actually work and make other things worse?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Conny

      I agree with this article 100%. The author is clear and sensible.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Sharon

      So something MUST be done, regardless of how asinine it is? That is no solution. Plus I think due to the variety of buildings no one size fits all type solution is even possible.

      January 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  5. hypatia

    Apparently, all the Stupid heard the author's whistle and came running. I do wish Faux Nooz would start their own forums again. It's sad to see so much stupid going to waste here.

    January 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  6. earl breaux

    We do not need more security in schools we need dicipline and respect taught at home

    January 19, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  7. Mortpes

    Focus on school safety. Immediate armed on site response and effective school building up grades. Focus on how to solve those problems. Our elected officials say focus on something else Focus they say on guns. This kid killed his mom. Police vehicles carry machine guns. If mental patients attack the police for the guns, where does that leave the kids in the local school?

    January 18, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  8. Kim

    Wow, some schools still have Christmas Concerts? We had to endure yet another round of patriotic songs and I was expecting our men and women in the military to come riding down the isle on, or leading, a camel or something of that sort.
    Anyway, when I was a High School tennis and soccer coach and a child asked me what they had to do to 'get better' to be more succesful I used to ask them, "Do you love the sport and want to improve enough to change yourself?" I was not asking them what the world, or society, had to do for them to be more succeessful. I was telling them that they had to change themselves. Many said they were and did not, some were very honest and did not and very few were very honest and did. You can guess which group excelled and came closer to their desired results and improved everyone else around them and caused us to be a better group in the process. Society is a big thing and society does not change- only its component parts do over time and it happens one person at a time. The stupidity is only wanting something bad enough to call for everyone else to change and not bad enough to be willing to change and slowing down the whole process of change we say we want. Kinda funny.

    January 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
  9. common sense

    Thank you for printing at least one article with some common sense to it. People always go to some knee jerk reaction to what is a terrible and tragic event. Politicians then jump on these things like dogs fighting for a bone, just to claim they did something regardless of how ignorant and short sighted it is. People need to start realizing that government can't protect them from every bad thing in the world, nor is it the job of government to do so. Any time a politician starts a speech with do it for the children, prepare yourself to get screwed.

    January 17, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • Ashwin

      Actually a prejudiced mindset on a critical topic and the understandable knee-jerk reactions out there ......

      I agree here that the author picked the right topic BUT seems hollow in her disdain for any idea in general. Clearly hoping for a miracle solution does not work and some ideas even if ridiculous are the beginnings of a path that will get refined over time. So please stop sitting on your couch and demeaning people who are worried out of their minds but still able to use their mind to get a more restrictive (for nutcases) setup for the children, parents and the schoool on general.

      I have seen and heard many people YAP about solutions and how they are meaningless. Without offering a solution or set of ideas that are feasible and do not need a lot of lead time to be initiated. Every day matters when it comes to leaving things as they are. The author should get this in her perspective. All in all a very lopsided perspective on her behalf but not surprising as the topic itself set the stage for her.

      Some examples of her desire to look at only one aspect of the measures:

      1. Because guns don’t kill people … people with car keys kill people?
      – after the giggling in her mind dies down, I encourage the author to look at the benefits such as: This might make running away difficult for someone who maybe cannot plan too far in advance. Worth a shot.

      2. Sign in
      – I agree that this is a easily flouted measure but no reason to throw it out either. Handwriting analysis is worth a shot.

      3. How much safer is anyone – except the guard, who gets to keep this pointless job?
      – I think he serves a more relevant job just by his presence than the author here does despite her capabilities (?) in writing something constructive.

      4. If parents are inconvenienced while the system looks for a more win-win solution then so be it. Grow up and look at facts as they stand. Did you moan and complain while cellphones were the size of bricks or did you get in line and get your brick when that was the only option? Now is seems laughable so laugh it off but dont laugh at the presence of a guard.

      5. parents from now on to slam the door on other parents behind them.
      – I agree that this is ridiculous. I think a better idea would be to have swipe cards installed or scan cards which do not control the door but log people in or out. Even then some more aspects need to be controlled to make this much more better than what I have mentioned.

      Call it PTSS or whatever but wallowing in inertia is not an option and waiting for a solution to be handed down to you is going to be time-consuming, and in the interim, risky.

      January 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  10. Jessica

    I think it's hilariously tragic that the writer starts off saying "Even if the chances of it happening are one in a million." It may not happen in that town again, but I think history has shown us that it will occur again, and again, and again; like it has repeatedly done over the last, how many decades now?

    January 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Shane Davis

      its happening every week, now ive recently heard of a shooting three students dead. something serious needs to be done and turning every school into a fortress is not a realistic option.

      January 17, 2013 at 4:38 am |
      • Joel

        The only realistic solution is to ban assault weapons... no wait that wont work as hand guns are used daily in the commital of crimes. What confuses me is that murders are committed DAILY through out the US, however all our focus is on school shootings, and we capitalize on that until something else catches our attention. So are the folks that are murdered daily less important...? Protect our children they say, well how about looking into the root cause of why we are such a violent society; take away the guns and we will still be a volatile society.

        January 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
  11. stan42

    I'd guess that the 'leave your car keys in the office' rule isn't really supposed to be about safety. They may be using that as an excuse, but I think it's just to discourage parents from leaving right after their kid sings. That way the last kids to perform don't have to sing to an empty room.

    January 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • cspschofield

      If that's so, then somebody needs to kick the Principle briskly in the fork. If he wants people to stay for the whole performance he should make that a condition of attending, up front, and not play cute games.

      January 17, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  12. NoOB(amanomics)

    The comments section here looks like a MEDIA MATTERS, TIDES FOUNDATION and JOYCE FOUNDATION family reunion! OH, I forget, that's the only people that really watch CNN, nevermind, nothing to see here.

    January 16, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  13. Abe Froman

    I think the tone of this article is a little off base. It's almost like someone wants to poke holes in something or make fun of it just to do it. Yes there is some overkill and sheer nonsense out there but there are also some pretty sound practices that this article makes light of:

    "Another reader wrote that her child’s school now requires all students to wear their identification tags. (Because…why?) "

    Because why? I don't know, because maybe every faculty member doesn't know or recognize every student....and there is the potential for any kid to go into a school he doesn't attend with the intention of doing harm. So in that scenario...having no badge is an indicator to look a little closer. There are many other useful reasons for the badge beyond just security, but that example speaks to your point.

    And " But my favorite post-traumatic stupidity involves a day care center that has asked all parents from now on to slam the door on other parents behind them. As the director explained in a note home: “One of the biggest concerns at this center is how often parents ‘piggyback’ on the parent in front of them, thus bypassing the need to enter the security code.”

    Really? You don't get how that's a legit problem? If you are a parent and you know the procedure....you shouldn't be looking to "piggyback" into the school anyway. The system is in place to keep track of who is in the building and who isn't. You're not supposed to come in without punching in your security code and that's why the door is supposed to be locked until you enter it. So it's not rude or obnoxious to close the door behind you. Everyone doesn't know everyone....and who's to say that "dad" who's here to pick up a child or something is actually a parent of a student? I'm supposed to hold the door for someone I don't know because he's right behind me and it feels rude to close it? Why should I feel bad in that scenario? It's the people behind me that should be made to feel bad for not following the rules. You know the drill, now get off my back. I just wonder why that is such a funny concept to the author of this article....

    January 16, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • logicHelper

      Your 2 points have very big holes in them. A student close enough to read their ID is a student already in a position to do harm if they wanted to. All a student without an ID would need to do is enter the school in a group of other students to blend in long enough. The major issue with your keycode comment is that most places do not assign a different code to each family. They have 1 code for employees and 1 code for parents. You have zero ways of finding what parents are on site that way. To use 1 code that constantly changes for each family would add more system overhead then those places are willing to deal with.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • B

        I suspect that the daycare in question here may have been misquoted, I doubt they suggested anyone slam doors in other parent's faces. Either way, politely not letting people ride your coattails into a secure building is sound safety advice and far from stupid. I know that the entire corporate campus where I work has signs up stating something to the effect of "one badge, one entry" and virtually everyone follows that rule. I do know that my child's daycare does have a different code for each person. Based on your knowledge, that may be an unusual case; but refusing entrance to a person without the shared code seems like better security than nothing.

        January 17, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Naif Mabat

      "Another reader wrote that her child’s school now requires all students to wear their identification tags. (Because…why?) "

      I assumed it was to help identify the bodies post-crime scene.

      January 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Donald

      If you make all parents slam the door in the face of the person behind them than sure, you will increase security. Gunmen at schools shoot their way in so what's the point? However, you will treat all people as potential psychopaths. You will inflame the fear hysteria and mistrust.

      Children become safer when parents know each other. As the community gets stronger, the children get safer. This extra security will do almost nothing to increase safety but it will erode the community.

      Did I mention that the stronger the community, the harder for someone to sneak in unnoticed?

      January 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • Roland Deschain

      The kids should wear 2 ID tags. One around their neck; and one on their shoe. Because it's safer that way.

      January 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • CW, GA

      So Eric Harris and Dylan Klybald would have had to wear their school ID while shooting their classmates? All these "safety measures" do not address the real problem: angry young men.

      January 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Trying to be a part of the solution, not the problem

      Abe – I agree with you – the tone of this article is off base and offensive. It proves that people respond to tragedies in different ways – some try to do something about the problems and come up with a solution that may work in their own communities and schools . . . while others on the outside point and make fun of their attempts to CHANGE something. I am more of a solution person and have thought a lot about Sandyhook and what could be done (starting with a mentally ill registry). I wish that this article could have been geared towards a solution vs. calling people stupid for trying to come up with solutions.
      It was a disappointing article and I shouldn't have wasted my time reading it. Now that I have, I can't help but comment. I have 3 little ones and do everything I can to ensure their safety. Accidents happen, things out of our control happen, at the same time – I'm a proactive parent trying to find resolution and hope for a brighter future instead of settling with "well, this is it – we can't do anything about it." If having a badge or something else in place could possibly help with the problem – then I don't see what the big fuss is over. Or even having to open a door with your arms full at a daycare (believe me – my arms have been full for most of my motherly experience) – if it could help with the safety, why are people having an issue with it?
      I wish that Sandyhook's bell system could have worked in this situation. I DO NOT live my life in fear. God does have control, although he lets wicked/mentally ill people do "stupid things". I acknowledge death is a part of this time in mortality and we can't always prevent things. At the same time, instead of complaining, poking fun and calling people's ideas "stupid" – why don't we work together to come up with solutions that work in our individual communities, strengthen homes and families and TRY to make a difference in an unrest and extremely confusing world?

      January 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  14. Estabon

    Ok Folks, Question please.

    Why are people not rioting in the streets and the Media raising hell? Lack of Medical Insurance and Hospital errors kill 225,000 a year in the United States. People worry about guns? 9000 people were murdered with guns in 2010. Just under 700 for accidental shootings.
    Number of people who died in the USA in 2010 – 2,468,435

    Falls: Falling is the leading cause of unintentional home injury deaths; it claims nearly 6,000 lives per year, according to the Home Safety Council.

    Poisoning: The second-leading cause of accidental home injury deaths—poisoning—takes nearly 5,000 lives each year.

    Fire and burns: Home fires and burns claim more than 3,000 lives a year, making it the third-leading cause of accidental home injury deaths.

    Airway obstruction: Airway obstruction—which includes choking, suffocation, and strangulation—claims about 1,000 lives a year.

    Water: Drowning and submersions in water account for some 800 deaths a year.

    Accidental Shootings: In 2009, 642 people were killed in the United States by accidental shootings.

    Lack of Medical Insurance : 45,000

    Medical or Hospital errors: 178,000

    Motor Vehicle Accidents: 32,885

    Suicide: 38,364

    Murder: 2010: 12,996 By Firearms 8,775

    Heart disease: 597,689
    Cancer: 574,743
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
    Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
    Diabetes: 69,071
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

    January 16, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • MurdersByDoctors

      Actually ... some of those deaths by medical/hospital errors could probably be labeled murders – and that number might well increase now that hospitals get zinged by the medicare dollars if certain percentages of patients are readmitted after treatment at their hospital – which will affect money – and to some – market branding. What do you think would happen to you at a hospital which is deeply invested in money and market branding – and they can't figure out how to 'fix' you – or know you will be back because they know they already messed up – and it is the end of accounting cycle for their money/prestige responsibilities – and they are right at the edge of their quotas – so they have to choose – you – or their ratings??? What if they need your body parts for someone else – and can make lots of money off providing them to someone else? What if they need your life to satisfy their ..................................

      January 16, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Ashwin

      Statistics is one way of making a point BUT in this case its not an apples to apples comparison. All the facts in your comment have a 1:1 paradigm but with guns it becomes a 1: MANY paradigm. I hope you understand that.

      January 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  15. thoughts

    Putting armed security at schools without in-depth workable safe and humane treatment oriented reactionary actions by massive training for the public at large in how to actually deal with mental illness in a safe and humane way – whether it be yourself, your kid, your students, your public, your family, or your leaders and business people, etc. – would go further to make this country safer for all and a more humane place to live than anything else in my humble opinion. Even the mental health professionals do not truly understand how to treat patients in need of assistance – because they are so brainwashed by the pharma and co. mentallity of this country – and MOST have not even been trained in how to successfully assist with PTSD – because that would have meant that the government actually acknowledged PTSD for what it is – which would have made them have to take care of the vietnam vets – which they didn't ... and now that it is acknowledged – they DO NOT provide healthy helpful assistance to the current war vets – they simply 'kick them out' – too expensive to deal with PTSD??? Then why ALL THE FEAR MONGERING. Our government is only for the one percent – not for the people – no real thought nor care – except for money.

    January 16, 2013 at 2:35 am |
    • D

      WOW! YOU MUST BE AN UNEDUCATED RIGHT WING TERRORIST!

      BAN GUNS!

      WE WILL TAKE ALL OF YOUR GUNS!

      WE ARE DEMOCRACY–NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!

      SO GET OUT!

      January 16, 2013 at 3:33 am |
      • thoughts

        wow!
        when you calm down from reading my very intelligent comment above on the TRUE realities of the mental non-health dimension of existance – then – please – fill me in on WHAT EXACTLY you are yelling about – if you care – or dare.
        get a grip

        January 16, 2013 at 3:47 am |
      • Scott

        The United States is actually a Republic, not a Democracy.

        January 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • D

      WOW! YOU MUST BE AN UNEDUCATED RIGHT WING TERRORIST!

      BAN GUNS!

      WE WILL TAKE ALL OF YOUR GUNS!

      WE ARE A DEMOCRACY–NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!

      SO GET OUT!

      January 16, 2013 at 3:33 am |
      • CW, GA

        WOW! YOU MUST BE AN UNEDUCATED RIGHT WING TERRORIST! - YOU must be an uneducated left wing terrorist.

        BAN GUNS! - How? The genie is out of the bottle. The estimates of the number of guns there are in this country are probably based on gun registration. Criminals do not register guns. The real number is the estimate times ten or possibly 100.

        WE WILL TAKE ALL OF YOUR GUNS! - Who is this we and, again, how? It is a leap, but if YOU don't like guns I suppose YOU don't own one.

        WE ARE A DEMOCRACY–NOT A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! –We are neither.

        SO GET OUT! - No.

        January 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • Dennis M

        You are alone and will always be alone. I am the police and if you or anyone take my gun you will be in receiving end of two rounds to the face! LEO"S MIL are not against banning sports drinks guns or rifles just liberal politicians.

        January 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  16. Guy

    simply, why does a normal society need guns? Are Americans living in a war? Come on, face it, excepted hunting for fun, Americans don't really need guns. Don't be fool by some evil businessmen.

    January 16, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Gene

      The reason for the Second Amendment isn't to protect the public's right to go deer or duck hunting. In the words of both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (a couple of people who ought to know) it's to prevent government tyranny. When the people are disarmed the government can do anything it wants to them.

      January 16, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • Chris

        How does the second Amendment "protect ourselves against the government" still hold any sway these days? I can own a gun. But the government has Tanks. Predator Drones that are used by operators in Arizona to kill people in Afghanistan / Pakistan. There are jets that can kill people from miles away (and above). Guns won't do any good against that type of government. If the government wanted to become a dictatorship, it could have long ago. We've been outgunned since WW2.

        January 16, 2013 at 3:20 am |
      • paulahc

        it is beginning to seem that the current president is on his way to becoming a dictator wanna-be
        passing all these presidential mandates while bypassing the checks and balances against dictatorship in the country seems to be the current route taken along this path to dictatorship by the current administration

        January 16, 2013 at 3:28 am |
      • paulahc

        i talked with an elder from the nazi german era – and this elder was visibly upset and adament that the current affairs of the USA government were very similar to how it was when living in wwII nazi germany.

        January 16, 2013 at 3:31 am |
      • thatoneguy

        Gene: I couldn't have said it better myself.

        Although it may not seem like we need to protect ourselves from our government at this time (many would disagree and say we do, including myself), you never know who will be in office next and what they will do. Governments change. They always have and they always will. Don't you think you'd want to be ready if a time ever does arise? Don't you feel a need to protect your family and loved ones?

        January 16, 2013 at 9:16 am |
      • Penny Robinson Fan Club

        Chris: 18th century military also had cannons and warships which carried dozens of them. What's your point? Technology changes, yes, but right & wrong do not, and above all, tyranny is ALWAYS the same, no matter how many different happy faces it tries to wear.

        January 16, 2013 at 11:30 am |
      • Skeets11b

        I understand the concept of deterring tyranny, however, that is now an ignorant argument. I don't care how well armed you are the government can impose its will upon you. It has more firepower at its disposal than anyone can buy partnered with trained soldiers who will make a hash of your militia. I am also at a loss to understand why you think this might happen. However, having a weapon to deter crime is a valid reason to be armed. Not everyone lives within the protective area of the police.

        January 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
      • Shane Davis

        i think you need to go to a mental health specialist, by the sounds of it you are suffering a case of chronic paranoia.

        January 17, 2013 at 4:42 am |
    • Estabon

      Dear Guy,

      Please go take another anti-depressant. Don't worry, be happy. Nothing bad ever happens, blue skies and sunny days. It's ALL good. Go to sleep, dream nice dreams......

      January 16, 2013 at 8:45 am |
      • Penny Robinson Fan Club

        " The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. " –Thomas Jefferson

        "Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms." –James Madison

        "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides from an unarmed man, may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." –Thomas Paine

        January 16, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • cspschofield

      Guns are used by law abiding citizens to protect themselves from assault, home invasion, etc. millions of times a year, often without a shot being fired. If you feel that you don't need a gun, fine. Don't buy one. I don't own one myself. I count on the demographics of where I live (real "bitter clinger" country) to keep home invasions rare in my neighborhood.

      January 17, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Name*Lance M Dacus

      Why do you need all those tools or why do you need that expensive hot rod? There are so many more whys and not enough room to list them all. I happen to enjoy hunting, target shooting and collecting of certain firearms. Why I need them is none of your business as are your wants are none of mine. I'll bet you own a laptop, a desk computer and a smart phone, why when you can do all with one? Because you want them and you're are allowed to as it is your right. Enough said. Also I own for personal protection, maybe from you? Leave my rights alone and focus on the real problem, mentaly unstable people.

      January 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
  17. Law of Unitended Consequences

    Every time you do 'something' to solve a problem, that solution will always breed new unintended problems.

    The only way to approach a problem like this is: Do what you can that has the most impact on the problem, with the least amount of repercussions, within the time and/or cash available.

    The problem with government solutions is that they feel that repercussions are irrelevant and that time and/or cash available is infinite.

    I'm not surprised by alot of the comments on this article.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Fen

      They just need to make the "Gun Free Zone" signs bigger so the perps can see them.

      /s

      January 16, 2013 at 12:25 am |
      • Truong

        The perps do not care if there are "Guns Prohibited" signs.

        January 16, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  18. Teacher

    1. Most schools require students to wear somewhere on their person an identification badge. In the case of identifying a student in a crisis or even just for the sake of other teachers knowing who you are and that you are allowed to be there (like high school students who are expelled trying to get back in school for example)

    2. What's wrong with keeping the damn doors locked? Do you want some random person walking in from a door that is not monitored and take a hostage or shoot up the place? Again this has been happening since before Sandy Hook...

    I understand what the author was trying to say...knee jerk reactions to tragedy is not the answer. However, we should not disregard simple safety measures either! If someone wants to hurt your kids, odds are they could pull it off. But let's not invite the wolves to the sheep okay?

    January 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • sherrigl

      I have never heard of a school requiring students to wear ID, and I work for a school division, so I doubt most schools require this. Schools are public buildings and should not be locked. I can see having only one public entrance, and having it monitored, but that's it.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
      • localhost

        "Most schools" because their world exists as far as the eye can see. And most of the schools they see wear IDs. I, myself, believe that most schools are 99% white and send a disproportionate number of kids to Ivy colleges, because that's what I see.

        January 16, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • fOb

        Yes, most high schools and many junior high schools require badges. I actually am unaware of any high schools that DON"T make students wear badges. Elementary school is a different issue–younger children might be harmed by something hanging around their necks which could get caught on play equipment. But, yeah, badges are a good idea for older kids. With younger kids, I'd rather have them wearing uniforms with their names sewn onto the pocket area.

        January 16, 2013 at 2:23 am |
      • Bobby G

        In schools here (suburbs of Boston) all students, staff, and faculty wear id badges. The badges have include a photograph and name as well as a barcode and magnetic strip. This bad is used for ID and allows teachers/staff to access classrooms, restrooms, and offices. It also is used for when someone buys lunch, uses a vending machine loggs into a computer or takes out a library book.

        January 16, 2013 at 7:02 am |
      • sarabara

        I have two school aged kids and over the years they have attended schools in three States. There has never been a single student in any of these 7 schools wearing an id badge of any kind.

        January 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • LG

      I don't know any school that requires children to wear identification.
      As for the fire drills–that is mandated by the fire department. You know, in case of the very real possibility that a fire could break out in school. Since I think it's more likely that a fire will break out then a shooter I'd like my child to know what to do.

      We cannot look around every corner seeing evil. It's no way to live. If someone wants to do us harm badly enough they will. We can choose to be prisoners to them or we can choose to live our lives.

      January 16, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • marie

      We can all agree that most people are not nutcases or dangers to others, so the more people IN the school buildings, the better. With more people in the buildings, the better the chance that the odd case of someone with bad intentions will be noticed. Unlock the doors.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Skeets11b

      Having a 1st grader wear an ID tag in school is stupid. Locking the doors simply requires that a gunman shoot out the door and forcing people to sign in does nothing because you have to be inside the building to do so. Once a killer is in the door all security preparations are doomed.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • cspschofield

      Keeping school doors lock is fine …. until there's a fire. Yes, I'm aware that doors can be locked against entry while unlocked for exit, but I also know that kids are going to let their friends in by opening the doors from the inside, and that some brain-dead administrator will then have a cow and lock the door both ways. Six months later; "Hundreds of school children trapped in blazing building by locked doors.".

      January 17, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  19. Bobby Valentine

    We are doing some of these same things at my school, but the biggest has been the "no piggybacking". Today I told a parent he would have to buzz in and then slammed the door in his face. He looked at me like I had told him to f off. But now I can potentially be written up for not doing so.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  20. yankeeknot

    Sounds like Lenore has Post Traumatic Thinking Syndrome.A normal reaction to tradegys like this are to do whatever we can for our kids and our parents regardless of whether or not they are stupid ideas at the time or not, at least things are being done and I am certain you will not be involved in that change.The article sounds as if you are just a little mentally off or a psycho.Either way, stop trying to bring Americans down by your useless articles that really just prove you should go back to your one room apartment up in your dark little world.By the wat, you really sound stupid.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Charlie

      Panic, though a normal reaction, is still a bad reaction. It leads to harmful practices and a false sen\se of security. Let rational thoughts prevail and affect real change, real progress, real prevention.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
      • LG

        Well said.

        January 16, 2013 at 6:58 am |
    • nuts

      "Do something – ANYTHING! I don't care if it makes no sense or is a complete waste of time or... *gasp!* prevents us from putting resources into something that might actually be of some benefit." That mode of thinking drives me batty. A wise old flight instructor recommended to me once, as we discussed in-flight risk management: Instead of asking, "What harm is there in doing this?" ask, "What benefit is there in doing this?" That'll help keep you from doing something stupid, because you failed to think through the possible consequences. Doing something for the sake of doing something can be harmless at best, and harmful at worst. Think before you act.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • alsa

      So many "safety measures" do not make sense because they do not make children safer. At our school students are not allowed in the building before class time. The building remains locked for safety. Yet the students are required to congregate in a cafetorium that is wide open and has no security. And guests have to buzz in at one door and state their names and purpose.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • comatus

      Please tell me you don't vote.

      January 16, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  21. Paul Revere

    9/11 taught us that our society is not secure. We thought it was.
    Nothing is as secure as we would have it, because our society is not capable of providing absolute security.
    School buses tumble over cliffs.
    Earthquakes demolish school buildings.
    Perhaps a disconsolate kid walked into a school in Newtown and started shooting.

    No matter what you do, it will not guarantee absolute safety for you, your family, friends, community, State....
    It just can't be done.

    Worse (as proven by the post 9/11debacle), is what is done in response to these recurring crises.
    Far worse.

    "Post Trauma Stupidity Syndrome", indeed. *This* lady's on the ball.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Paul Revere

      Nice teeth, too..

      January 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  22. Meg

    Sometimes, with few resources to do the things that need to be done, we do other things that serve no purpose other than to help ease the worry of the community. Therefore, we become more diligent about checking IDs, in having the local police drive through the parking lot more regularly, in asking parents not to hold doors open for others. All these are facades to let people believe we are doing SOMETHING, when in fact there is little we CAN do if a crazed murderer wants to blast his/her way into any building, even when the most sophisticated locks, cameras, bells and whistles have been installed. In the end, the judgment of our professionals within the school will do more to protect children than any sign-in book, but the sign-in book at least lets us look each person in the eye and know who is entering the building before they get buzzed in.

    January 15, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Paul Revere

      But Meg, it's the outcome of these things done _in response_ that is the problem everlasting (I give you the TSA).
      It's like they go looking for the barn door after all the horses have run away.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  23. NorCalMojo

    American malady: Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome <--awesome

    January 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
  24. UpForGrabs

    At my high school, all exterior doors are now locked and one door doesn't have an exterior handle. The problem is that the students use the outdoor areas during class change and remain locked outside until someone opens the door. Rather than keep us safe inside, they lock us out where anyone can come into contact with students. All in the name of safety.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Concerned

      My highschool keeps all the doors except the 2 main doors locked, but around all doors there is just glass, definitely wide enough for a person to get through, so even if the doors are locked, I don't think it is that much of a stretch for a murderous person to just shoot the glass out and walk right in. I feel like people don't realize that having glass everywhere in buildings looks really cool and modern, but from a safety standpoint, it's not going to stop a killer from getting to you. And bulletproof glass is way out of the question with our town cutting the education budget.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  25. Matt

    Love the sarcasm of this article. From now on I will refer to what I know as Knee Jerk Reaction to Post Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  26. James Geiger

    Our schools in Monongalia County, West Virginia our now forcing students to give fingerprint scans to enter the building.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  27. Stew Shearer

    Her criticism of the daycare trying to prevent "piggybacking" is a bit silly. A little actual thought should be enough to come up with reasons why the practice is risky and it's not hard to find actual anecdotes that demonstrate why a bit of "rudeness" is preferable.

    Point in case, my daughter's daycare had an incident around the same time as the Newton shootings where an individual piggybacked passed the door code and then attempted to make contact with their child, violating a restraining order. And while it might seem inconsiderate and awkward to refuse admission to someone you don't recognize, it's a better option than being nice and letting a complete stranger into a small building filled with our children ages 6 weeks to 6 years.

    Obviously one shouldn't go the extremes suggested by Ms. Skenazy's sarcasm (common sense is a fairly decent guiding light) but I doubt the daycare ever suggested slamming the door on parents holding children. Putting words in their mouth doesn't make her point more valid.

    Also as to the claim

    January 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Peranting

      Actually I read her original article on the event which included the letter from the daycare. It did actually ask that you not hold the door even for someone you know. The problem with policies like this is that the only thing that will keep our children safe is developing a sense of community again. If we're a community then we look out for each other, we help each other, we protect each other. And cutting people off from each other like this and fostering this sense of mistrust isolates everyone and erodes that sense of community.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:19 am |
      • Stew Shearer

        THAT is a bit a silly, then.

        January 16, 2013 at 11:49 am |
      • Stew Shearer

        THAT is a bit silly, then. Thanks for the clarification.

        January 16, 2013 at 11:50 am |
  28. Tim

    Some may think these schools are being paranoid, but every time a school is successfully sued for not having every single possible safety hazard accounted for, even if there was little or nothing the school could have reasonably done, it will only continue.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • cjb

      Tim,
      Please clarify your response. Just how many schools have been successfully sued? Please, I would love to know.
      Not Columbine: http://edition.cnn.com/2001/LAW/11/27/columbine.lawsuit/index.html

      January 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
  29. reader

    The schools are doing the best they can. At my school we were told that the more barriers that can be erected between the kids and a possible assailant the better – hence, the doors not being held , the id's, the signing in, the greeters – none of which by itself has much effect but, in the absence of costly measures, is at least an approach and a series of obstacles and checkpoints. People talking about the stupidity of the schools are just not aware of the problems encountered in making schools secure.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Beth

      ID cards provide no barrier whatsoever between an assailant and a child.

      January 16, 2013 at 4:19 am |
      • Ellen M Martin

        True, but ID's make school even more like prison and make it easier to identify the dead bodies.

        January 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  30. mike

    These safety measures are all well and good but the school districts should be in for the long haul. I wonder what safety measures will be in place a year from now, three years...5?

    January 15, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • seriouslycomeon

      We can tatoo our children so they can be "scanned" into school. Or better yet – there will be "virtual" school where kids NEVER have to leave the safety of their homes. They can have virtual friends and virtual recess and lunches.... sounds like a wonderful world. No thanks, I'll keep the messy and sometimes dangerous world we have. Teach your children how to deal live in it – if you don't they are going to be 30 yrs old and still hiding -looking to you for your direction.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  31. EbolaZaire

    The problem is all these "common sense" solutions although just as ineffective and counterproductive as the prior quick fixes, will be justified by the adage, "if it could save just one child's life, its worth it.” The fact that basic effective school security would not only protect children from the extremely rare mass shooter, but also from the most likely source of harm, family members and friends (on school grounds at least) is wholly ignored. If the country really wants to protect children from violence in its schools, why don’t we actually train school personnel to deal with the real danger of violence faced by our children. Wishful thinking and “safe zone” legislation, runs afoul of the simple fact that crazed mass killers hoping to glorify themselves by eclipsing the acts prior mass murder media darlings or the common disgruntled family member or friend, cannot act unchallenged in any environment with a genuine security presence.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • paulahc

      you forgot to mention the fact of the governments that exist in the world in which kids live

      January 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • Apchick

      Ebola-

      You are quite right. I am a school principal, and we frequently deal with situations where children do things to each other that can be dangerous, as well as the occasional domestic situations with angry family members or non-custodial parents.

      Skenazy is correct in a lot that she says, and I think the point is to REALLY know your families. Two weeks before Sandy Hook (and six before the little girl got abducted from school), we had a guy walk into our office and ask to check out his daughter. Everything ground to a halt, as not a single one of us recognized him. "And you are . . . ?" He was the child's estranged father who was listed nowhere on her paperwork. We were able to sort out the situation safely and fairly in time, but the point is that schools need to be connected to their families and communities as the absolute first layer of safety. It's practical and inexpensive and, frankly, improves the school experience for the kiddos.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
      • sarabara

        This is absolutely the way to go. Parents appreciate a Principal with your thinking.

        January 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  32. Shari

    Ironically, right after I read this, I clicked on a story about a 5-year-old girl abducted from school by a woman who posed as her mother, and duly signed in on the log sheet. Fat lot of good that did!

    January 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Kevin

      The important part of the 5 year old being taken is not that she signed in.. but that the school blew a major security checkpoint and did not require her to show an ID..at my school they have to have an ID and be on record with the school division as being authorized to pick up the child or the child is not released. This is sound practice. The IDs are verified on the spot with an online system.. The only thing I think is missing is a picture in the database to match to the face of the person in front of you.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  33. Dawn

    Why are school districts taking "wacky, wasteful and ridiculous actions?"...Because if they don't show they are doing something, anything, suit happy attorneys and money grubbing plaintiffs will sue them for $100 million because the school district did not do enough to keep this kind of thing from happening.

    Every child should be able to attend school and reasonably expect the environment to be safe, whether in Newtown, CT or innercity Chicago or Philly. Every school district cannot reasonably be expected to anticipate any possible threat and proactively counteract that threat, yet there are those who will automatically travel the compensation route if something does happen.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  34. blsspartan

    Did you ever wonder why Walmart has greeters at the door. It's not to greet you with a good afternoon. Statistically people are less likely to shoplift if someone looks them in the eye as they enter the store. While signing in will not stop some raging person from doing what they want. Nothing will. However these small steps will, and do, stop those who are on the fence about doing it. The act of writing your name down on paper, whether real, or fake, and possibly getting caught by someone who knows you; the act of having to call to get someone to open a door for you; these will never stop the person bent on gaining access, but they will cause a pause or reconsideration in the person who may not be sure.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Joey5Picks

      "However these small steps will, and do, stop those who are on the fence about doing it. "

      Show me the data behind that statment. "On the fence." As in, walking into a school armed to the teeth, but not quite sure you're going to go through with it. And "signing in" is going to convince you it's wrong? Ludicrous!

      January 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • A. White

      WalMart no longer has greeters. Now people just walk in and get what they want and walk out.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
  35. Bill

    What do they do in Chicago? Surely with their strict gun laws they are experts in gun control. Maybe they will be as successful with school situations as they have been with in crime control. Oh, they have the worst crime rate in the US. Strange, how did that happen?

    January 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bazoing

      I am not about extreme gun regulation, but:
      1. There is very little work in Chicago
      2. The people who were not on relief or had both the ability and the pride, got out of Chicago.
      The result was that the remaining workers, and retired people have to put up with the difficulties of living in the most slummy city in the US. That has nothing to do with their stupid gun laws.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  36. JoJo Starbuck

    I think the main point to take away from this is that so many people completely lose their minds after these tragedys that they want anything to make them feel good. And with that common sense is completely thrown out the window. The ridiculous rules and procedures these reactionary school administrators force kids to go through is enough to make someone lose it, hmmmmmmm.

    Something absolutely should be done to help prevent the senseless murder of any child, but doing something for the sake of doing something doesnt solve anything. Take a minute to breath and come back and have a sensible discussion that involves sensible solutions.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Bazoing

      My experience is that school administrators often lack minds to loose.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
      • Scott

        Amen brother, amen.

        January 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • In Nomine Patris

      Well said Jojo! I wish more people like you ran for office.

      January 16, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  37. DBlanks

    Our school system in North Carolina (one of the lowest states in achievement scores) thinks it is ok to eliminate teacher positions and increase the number of children in each classroom, so we can hire a resource officer for each school. The chances of a school shooting is while terrible is very small. The chance of a child actually needing to learn to read – 100%.

    January 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  38. Calvin

    Schools just need ceiling mounted remote controlled machine guns....that's the ticket!

    January 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • sam

      Just put them on ceiling fans.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Not a Sheep

      And Monkeys!!! I saw them take someone's Ice Cream on Animal Planet once, I'm sure they can help stop violence in schools too!

      January 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  39. In Nomine Patris

    Evoking an injustice in the name of righteousness is still an injustice!

    We are being alienated from our inalienable rights increasingly each day!

    Don't be coralled into the Matrix and don't eat the Soylent Green. The destruction of our sacred and hard earned freedoms has begun. Must we bear witness to the decline of the greatest experiment of all mankind?

    Lest evil triumph, I pray more good men and women come forward to save us all.

    In nomine Patris et filii et Spiritus Sancti.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • sam

      Ok, but the Soylent Green is bacon flavored this week. Just saying.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
      • anon

        Agreed, Sam. And also, everyone... Don't eat the brown acid.

        January 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Bryan

      I find it rather ironic that in an article about school shootings and the ridiculous reactions to them you quote The Boondock Saints....

      January 15, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
      • In Nomine Patris

        Ah, an enlightened one! Ironic indeed, my friend. Justice is truly a double edged sword that proves every action, has repercussions and consequences that may not always turn out to supplement the ultimate goal as initially implied.

        History also supports that it is not unknown for a belligerent force to impose their perspectives in the name of Martyrs or Innocents so we must all remain vigilant of this. Knowing it is human nature to be emotionally reactive, we can at least attempt to anticipate and acknowledge when we may be in a compromised state of mind and step back. If we don't, the solution, or reaction, may result in only exacerbating our situation.

        The greater the shock, the greater the emotional response, the greater need for wise temperament. I fear we do not leverage our elders and the greater generations before us more now days.

        As many here has said, we are still fortunate that "evil" is yet an exception to our greater community. Lest we forget to exploit our superior democratic method, we will be doomed to fall.

        The great Robin Williams once stated; "Guns don't kill people, apes with guns kill people". Aye, there is wisdom indeed.

        January 16, 2013 at 12:26 am |
  40. Anonymous

    I just had a brilliant idea, how about we make murder illegal?
    oh wait...

    January 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  41. scott

    Satisfy the NRA and arm their wing nuts with assault MUSKETS.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Khym

      Very, very stupid.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  42. saulbejarano

    You bring a lot of criticism to something nobody knows how to handle but no one single solution, you are the same kind of liberal crap good to criticize but with no positive outcome to society!

    January 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • bobert

      Liberals, liberals, liberals. Its always the liberals fault. It all started with that Buddha,then that poseur Jesus. Its been downhill since. When emperors made all our choices for us, life was easy! Hail Caeser!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • jburrie

      At least she knows how to write.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • OH NO

      LIBRULS!!!!

      January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
    • Bazoing

      People who say other people should die so animals can have the earth are not an uncommon form of liberal. But read Oliver Twist and see what the present Republicans seek for the vast majority.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
      • DaveP.

        ...self-reliance, equality of opportunity, and a government that stays out of the way of the citizens instead of trying to control them?

        Of course,l if you want to find out what Democrats want you don't have to read a book: just look at how wonderfully New York CIty, California, Detroit and Chicago are run.

        January 16, 2013 at 2:05 am |
  43. Bugsy

    Get used to it. We live in a nation of increasing mistrust. Is it any coincidence the U.S. is also the richest country?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • k from az

      You want to connect the dots for us slower children?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • ice94242

      Rich with debt.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Calvin

      We're not that rich. We're owned by China.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  44. Tina

    I haven't heard anyone talk about this yet, but what about a safe room in the classroom? I know it would cost at first,but it wouldn't be an on going cost like armed guards. I don't know if there is anyway to REALLY secure a school 100% though.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Dwight

      Or you could make the door to the classroom solid and deadbolt secure at the whim of the teacher who pushes a button. The whole room becomes a safe room.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • Tina

        Good ideal, see this is the kind of talk we need to be having instead of just ban this to that.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • joe800

        My childrens elementary school classroom doors did exactly that, lock upon closing. Everyone (except janitor I suppose) had to knock to be let in. That works. Solid concrete block walls with steel doors and safety wire reinforced glass. It's a simple risk reducing measure.

        January 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • oldpatriot

        Just like a prison cell, wonderful that our kids get to grow up in a cell instead of a classroom !

        The root cause of this problem isnt lack of security or even guns, it is SSRI psychoactive drugs that cause suicidal and murderous thoughts in 5% of all those who take them. Have you ever read the black warning label on Prozac or Ridlin or Paxil – scary things to read !

        January 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • bro

      yeah like a bank vault and stuff and then wheels and a motor and could deliver them home

      January 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  45. Dwight

    Believe it or not a sign in sheet is an effective way of keeping someone honest, because there is usually someone there to make sure that it is done and that person usually has to allow that person in, thus causing the one signing to lose momentum in thier act and become more self conscience. Of course it wouldn't stop someone intent on entering, but then again if a person wants to get in they can just break the glass on a side door and get in. The name tags are usually pretty good, but they can be taken off. There is no fool proof way of securing a school short of making like a high security prison, but there is to make entering more problematic.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • bro

      why not sell guns and buy garden tractors and be useful, then ya could asualt someone wit a carrot

      January 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
      • pesticideAssault

        carrots actually retain a large amount of pesticides in them – so assualt by carrot IS possible

        January 16, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • 4integrity

      I don't really have a problem with sign-in sheets. They seem useful in case of fire or something. But they definitely will NOT prevent a deranged individual from entering a location and shooting people. Really there's little that can be done to prevent someone intent on causing harm from carrying out his/her plans. The security procedures at Sandy Hook were better than many schools, and yet... It's honest people who feel the need to follow rules like, "everyone is required to sign in." People intent on doing harm feel no need to abide by such requests.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
      • tired of bs

        True. But, not all safety/security issues involved deranged killers. Many of the measures are to keep students safe from non-custodial parents, etc. At our schools, we must provide a license which is scanned into the system whenever you enter the school....it prints a sticker/pass with your pic on it that you wear while int he school. Want to check a kid out: then, they check our name against the "book" (which has a signed form from each parent identifying who can sign a child out).
        The issues of locking doors may seem silly, but a deranged gunman shooting a lock on a door may provide enough ruckus to alert someone of a problem.

        January 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • MacV

      If someone were intent on committing a criminal,act, do you really believe that they are going to sign in? Oh, wait, says the potential criminal, I'd better sign in. Yeah! What do name tags have to do with security?

      January 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • DC1973

      Yeah, that sign-in sheet in Philadelphia did a bang-up job of stopping that unknown woman from claiming she was some child's mother and walking out of the building with her (she was found in a park the next morning, and seems to be fine, thank God).

      How about we stop with all the nonsense and bring back some common sense? Get people who know their butt from a hole in the ground back behind the desks, and quit trying to cut corners by hiring the cheapest people they can get away with.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  46. Thomas

    I'm sorry, my post showed up under someone's reply to Joan. SORRY again, it wasn't meant too

    January 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  47. AlaDave

    I'd find a set of cops that could respond faster than 20 FREAKING MINUTES.
    (or am I the only one that noticed that statistic in an official news report recently)
    I mean, honestly, I would think running lights and siren that you could cross the entire state of CT in 20 minutes...

    January 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Bryan

      What are you talking about? What school shooting did it take the cops 20 minutes to respond?

      If you're talking about average response times that's still pretty high, but it would depend on the area, call volume, and how many officers are working whether or not that was reasonable.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • paulahc

      i think that is how long for them to get from the child crisis response training that the responders were attending at the time – or had gathered – for the day's events

      January 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • HeyAndersonCooper

        Anderson – you are actually talking about the possibility of a conspiracy theory about the Sandy Hook shootings – but you forgot to provide evidence or thought about the probable fact that the litle girl in the red dresses dad was laughing and looked quite happy RIGHT before he did his teary eyed interview – and that his daughter is sitting with the prez. for a photo shot AFTER she supposedly was shot. The entire video of the interview that is on-line has to be viewed – that shows him laughing right before he started the interview – perhaps people act this way – but why is the girl in the photo shoot with the prez.? And – why are there numerous instances of training exercises involving the very same type crisis that actually takes place – more numerous than to be coincidence – like 9-11, the London train metro attack, and now Sandy Hook with the how to deal with children in crisis situations training conference occuring 20 minutes drive from Sandy Hook the exact time and date the tragedy occurred – and it took them 20 minutes to get to the school? Also – IS the conspiracy 'fact' that the facebook page for the little girl in the red dress that was posted two days before the actual tragedy occurred real??? I am not harrassing anyone by the way – this article is not directed at the Sandy Hook victims – it is for all. My sympathies and empathy to all involved and affected – which is EVERYONE now ...

        January 16, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • thinksome1

      Why call the cops? Because they have guns. Can't afford to wait twenty minutes? Take the next logical step.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  48. surferjoe

    What do you do when the phone lines for the compleat community school systems goes down,Do you call the police,newspaper,mayers office? You get the number for the Janitor,cause none of the above ,know anything about it,Happen to me last Friday.Im upset,does anybody care here.no For 8 hours,Im the only one thats upset,do you beleave that!!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  49. GnatB

    Dear Author.
    Security is mostly placebo. It largely works because people THINK it works. People feel more secure because there is "working" security in place. People are less likely to attempt to penetrate security because there is "working" security in place. It is always easier to penetrate security than it is to enforce it. Regardless of what measures are put into place, if somebody smart enough/dedicated enough wants to kill lots of kids at school, there will always be a way. I can think of a several that don't even require entering the building... or guns, for that matter.

    Silly/stupid security ideas work. As long as at least some people think they do. You want to know how to make schools more secure? Instead of pointing out how stupid some of these ideas are, point out how great they are.

    Even if they aren't. You won't stop the dedicated person regardless, unless you get lucky. But you will at least stop those who aren't dedicated.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom

      That is why I call it security theater, it does nothing to protect us it just makes us feel safer.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Dwight

        There is a lot of psychology involved in security. Cameras on the border don';t keep people from going back and forth, but some people dont want to be filmed so they will avoid it. The goal is to make it less obvious to break in and make the person more self conscience of thier action. People spead, but slow down if they see red/blue lights ahead, even if there isn't a police car present. A security guard might deter an action, or the security guard might be the first one to get shot, unless the perpetrator thinks that he might not be able to get off the first shot. Risk goes up.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • thinksome1

      Wisdom from a gnat? I thought they had very short attention spans? Go figure.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Guy

      Or, we could, I don't know, actually do something that might make the world a little safer, like take a seroius look at addressing mental health issues? Naw... let's just implement worthless security measures, and pretend like they work, it'll scare off the stupid ones... and that's good enough, right?

      January 16, 2013 at 11:12 am |
  50. markj001

    These opinion pieces are nothing more than free advertisements for "experts" with blogs. In this case capitalizing on a tragedy. Most of the policies she mentions have been in effect in schools for years. There are legitimate reasons for most of them. You would think an "expert" would not rely on internet posted hearsay but she does. Ms. Skenazy is not an expert, she is a self aggrandizing reality TV star with a blog. Laughable.

    January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Tom

      Did I miss the part where she said she was an expert on school escurity?

      January 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • tuckerfan

      Really? Making parents surrender their car keys (creating the new problem of dishonest school officials now have access to your car, and probably house) has been in place for years? Having parents be rude to the parent behind them in live is policy? Great, the conservatives win and we'll all raise our kids to be good little authoritarian bots who obey every rule no matter how dull witted.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  51. workingmansword

    We need to search for solutions other than simply passing more feel good gun laws. Gun free school zones simply remove guns from law abiding citizens who may, albeit not always, be able to stop a lunatic from killing our children. Take the Sandy Hook incident. Had the teachers at that school been trained and armed, when the first shots were fired, they could have lead their kids to the safest spot in the classroom and then they could have waited and ambushed the killer. Even if the maintenance personnel been armed, or there were armed guards chances would have been increased that this would not have happened.

    We all want to think we live in a world where all we have to do is make a law and problem solved. Unfortunately, the decades long assault weapons ban, that didn't work, as well as the many situations where the killer walked right through our laws and had their way with defenseless citizens. When are we going to wake up and see that this is much more than a gun problem?

    January 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • paulahc

      yes – it is a problem of the USA government doing the following:
      1. pushing destruction and mayham for change and control and power
      2. pushing meds that kill and cause people/kids to kill on the public
      3. pushing fear mongering to cause more people to be mentally ill to fill the pharma and co. coffers and jails

      January 15, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  52. joejeffrey

    And we see thus that school administrators are not the brightest bulbs in the pack. I once had a long, unpleasant argument with my local school Superintendent about the stupidity of banning the Civil War re-enactment. His reasoning: "It might cause some child to make a bad decision." Of course when I asked him if he know of any case, or had any evidence of any kind, that Civil War re-enactment had ever led to such an event, he said, "No. It's just my feeling." From the guy in charge of teaching kids how to think.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • skppa

      I work in a Philadelphia school. Our principal's solution is to herd 600 students in the auditorium where we become sitting ducks. If we cannot make it to the auditorium, then teachers are directed to stand in front of the windowed classroom door and hang newsprint or construction paper in case of an intruder. Oh, how silly of me, we have to provide our own newsprint, construction paper, and tape.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
      • paulahc

        if you were in that situation and had time to safely tape up your windows – you might feel yourself very lucky indeed
        always a silver lining

        January 15, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
  53. allen

    The problem is, the bar just keeps moving. The next trajedy won't happen at a school, it will be at the bus stop where all the kids get on/off the bus.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • paulahc

      really good point

      January 15, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  54. CJfromTexas

    Our sixth-grader was suspended 3 days for making an "inappropriate" comment about a 3-inch toy gun another kid brought to school (the other boy was also suspended). The comment was "I'm glad thing that isn't real because it could kill people." Rather hyper-reactionary we thought, but it was pointless to fight. Does this only seem ridiculous to us because it was our kid? I fail to see how this type of policy makes anyone safe.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • paulahc

      your kid has just had another nick taken out his/her mental health by that i am sure
      unfortunately – that is the way it is – no one really cares – nor listens
      just don't make trouble – nor be part of it – even if you are not
      they would think of suspending the kids in a gun fight that were victims not perpetrators probably
      just not to be troubled with listening to nor accomodating them if they were made lame or a victim in any way

      January 15, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  55. Chalupa

    One reason behind making students wear ID's is they have EFID chips that locate the student. In Texas, schools are reimbursed by the number of students present at 10am. The chips allow a rapid and accurate count.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Bobby

      "schools are reimbursed by the number of students present at 10am". That's the real reason they push kids back to school a day or two after a storm or other event, not because of the"for the kids" normal crap they push. To bad they can't be honest about it.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • paulahc

      do they also make the kids leave the tracking devices at school for the night?
      ...
      what are the effects of the radiation and electromagnetic interference to the kids brains from these devices?
      probably no one knows – or will not admit to the damage it might cause to young brains

      January 15, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  56. Tom

    Why can't a dart be created that would take down a shooter and put them to a quick sleep for five

    minutes or more depending upon choice of the creator of the dart. Send teachers to the shooting

    range and teach them how to shoot a pistol with a dart in it and have these pistols located where

    they can do some good. And for safety the dart if a child got hit by accident, it would just put

    them to sleep for a while, with no hazards to them. All this talk of putting armed cops at every

    school just puts innocent kids in the crossfire.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Nick

      Your comment is absolutely ridiculous. What you just said was utterly foolish. You should be banned from all comments and opinion on any open forum on the World Wide Web. How could a teacher with a weapon possibly be any safer than have a trained officer? There are plenty of officers out there I would trust with my life over a teacher who has had no such training. And, I would rather not even get started on your dart gun concept. Good day to you, sir.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • Tom

        Teacher with a dart gun is better than nothing.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
      • nomad

        I am Nomad

        January 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
      • AlaDave

        Teacher with a .45 is better than a teacher with a dart gun.

        January 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • AlaDave

      Nice idea, would never work in real life.
      It puts the children who get killed before the tranq may or may not take effect in great danger.
      Only appropriate solution: CoM or head shot.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Anonymous

      There is a very small margin for error in dosages of tranquilizers, and the dose that would put a grown man to sleep for 5 minutes would easily kill a kid who got hit by accident.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  57. john f. Johnston

    the simple solution to school threats is to require sign-in with one yes or no question- do you plan to commit a violent act today at school? If the answer is "yes" there is a written directive to leave. If the answer is no, the individual is permitted to enter.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Tyler

      Makes as much sense as anything else I've heard lately...

      January 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • joejeffrey

      Wow! Wish I'd thought of that!

      January 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Booya

      Are you serious? Did you not just read the article? I do hope you are being a little facetious here, like a sign in is suddenly going to make a potential bad person take pause and say to themselves "gee I guess I have been found out and shouldn't go through with this heinous act.." right...

      January 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • yikes

        Booya...look up the word "Sarcasm" in the dictionary and try to figure out how to discern. You might need to look up the word "discern", too.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  58. Tyler

    Is anyone surprise by the fact that the stupidity is without exception perpetrated by government drones?

    January 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Tracy

      Sorry, stupid is not "without exception" a government employee malady. I see plenty of it in the private sector. For example, the author of this article is not the brightest bulb. She actually complains about a school locking doors? I would be shocked to discover a school that does not lock its doors. That's such a simple and effective measure to prevent all manner of trouble.

      Name tags? Sure. There are reasons to do that beyond preventing shootings.

      Car keys in the office? OK, I admit I can't fathom that.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
      • STACI

        THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT TRACY, I APPRECIATE IT. THE AUTHOR IS A MORON. MY KID ACTUALLY GOES TO THAT SCHOOL IN "RURAL IOWA" THAT LOCKS IT'S DOORS AND YOU HAVE TO CALL THE OFFICE TO BE LET IN. I AM QUITE HAPPY THEY DO LOCK THEIR DOORS FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, LIKE MY KID WANDERING OFF SINCE SHE IS ONLY 4 AND IN PRESCHOOL. IF IT BENEFITS HER SAFETY, I AM OKAY TAKING AN EXTRA FIVE MINUTES IF THAT TO CALL OUR SCHOOL SECRETARY TO BE LET IN. I ALSO HAVE AN 18 MONTH OLD THAT I AM CARRYING AROUND SO ALL THOSE PEOPLE GETTING UPSET BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO STAND OUTSIDE IN THE COLD AND WAIT TO BE LET IN-REALLY-IT'S CALLED DRESS THEM APPROPRIATELY FOR THE WEATHER AND SUCK IT UP. SORRY TRACY THIS WASN'T ALL FOR YOU-JUST VENTING AND APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENT.

        January 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  59. Quori

    Every time I see the defense of "You can't take my guns, its my right" I ask this question...if you were no longer allowed to have a gun, you would find some other measure to defend your person or property as well as finding another leisure activity to partake in on the weekends. What exactly can I do to replace my child who was killed by someone wielding a gun?"

    Funny how I have yet to ever get an answer to that. See how that works...you have an alternative to a gun. Guns ultimately end any alternatives for those at the barrel's end.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tyler

      So I assume you want to ban ALL guns the hands of private citizens, correct? You may want to look up District of Columbia v. Heller to see why that will NEVER happen.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Amber

      If guns were given up only those law abiding individuals would do so... who is to say that the ones that would do harm would not have a gun? Just because they are not legal doesn't mean there are not alternative methods to obtain a fire arm. Then they would be guaranteed that their victims would be unarmed and not prepared for a high powered fight.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • echo

      I have an answer for you. I can't give you back your child, I wish that that individual had not had a gun, I feel terrible be used a gun. Now answer me, can you give me my democracy back if our government goes Big Brother on us? Can you give me my child back when he is killed with a bat, knife, hands... etc. How about by that drunk driver that kills a mother and child? Drinking and all its terrible consequences kills more than guns, but yet we don't ban alcohol?! We tried and it didn't work...only the boot leggers had it, who then turned around and sold it at high profit to everyone else.
      Its the same thing here. You can't simply ban guns any more than you can ban cars, alcohol, or bats. They're a part of society that we live with everyday and frankly, I'd rather see MPH control on cars then gun control. My $.02.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
      • howTrue

        seriously agree on the democracy loss
        why does the government all of sudden want to control guns again?
        something is up bigger than the gun issue
        why do 'they' want more control? What do they plan to do with their desired increase in power?
        do NOT trust 'them'
        not if they can do 9-11 and even (probably) sandy hook – and – get the people to believe and / or go along
        but mostely – not be able to do a damn thing about IT – yet!

        January 15, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Bregginkrak

      Totally get what you are saying and if you had a magic wand and could magically remove the existence of all guns I could agree with you that I don't need a gun. Buy you don't and you can't.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  60. Lou

    I can see see her point but, sheesh, Lenore, why don't you try running a freaking school and keeping all those kids safe? It's so easy to sit back and ridicule school administrators' efforts, but I personally would not want to be the one in charge of a school. There are always a ton of people who think they know how they do it better, like Lenore.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • awombatsweb

      I agree with you, which is why children should be locked in cells and walked around in chains like dogs.

      Seriously mate, welcome to paranoia.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  61. former Iowan

    Not much of fan of rural Iowa, I was born and raised on a farm in rural Iowa. My home town has state of art internet connectivity (all fiber) then the city where I live. But getting back on point, there will always be an emotional response to an emotional event. Every school is different, every event is different, there is no way to establish a system that prevents every possible option.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  62. No Fool

    Has anyone ever wondered where the violent videos and other violence-laden TV programs get their inspiration? Don't all those exploding human heads and flying severed limbs ring a familiar bell? The Old Testament "God" of the Bible, a trigger-happy, admittedly jealous and vengeful understudy of Zeus? Forever zapping those he dislikes (to teach them how to live!) ; the innocent as well as the guilty? When that kind of mythological figure is raised to the level of "divine," and implanted into the more or less conscious or unconsicous minds of many, how can you expect a world free of human copy-cats such as Lanza?

    January 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bregginkrak

      ROTFLMAO....OMG...I hope you don't believe in what you said.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  63. Joy

    Even if they pass more gun laws, why do people think they will be safe 100% of the day? I'm more worried about me and kids dying from cancer than a gun shot.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tyler

      It's just another convenient excuse for the government to impose more restrictions on the peasants. They couldn't care less about "the children".

      January 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
      • howTrue

        how true
        accept it wasn't only or just convenient
        it was done on purpose
        by them

        January 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  64. Roger

    My son's school requires everyone to sign in. I guess they'll catch the guy with the assault rifle when he follows the rules – because of course he would!

    And to think, some want to arm the very people making these stupid rules!

    Talk about stupidity.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Lou

      Signing in when you enter a school doesn't have anything to do with protecting a school from gun violence, it's a way for building staff to know who is in the building and when they left. It's useful if for instance, a non-custodial parent attempts to pick up/visit his/her child at school. It's also a written record that can be used to verify if someone has or has not been in the building. Is it silly if a school started doing this following the school shooting? Yes because obviously that event cannot be deterred by a sign in sheet, however do not ignore its usefulness in other situations.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
      • joejeffrey

        Well, it might be, if schools required you to sign out, which most (such as our local elementary school) do not. It's actually a feel-good measure to make people (including administrators) think they're doing something useful.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  65. Rain

    Our district required all children to obtain a plastic or mesh backpack Mesh is just stupid when it comes to weather, but at least it's more durable than the plastic. The teachers, who are adults in a state that allows concealed carry (KY), are not required to have clear purses, bags, etc..

    I'm still waiting for "meaningful measures".

    January 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  66. SRV

    These ideas presented in this piece are really no more stupid than going after legal gun owners rights. Everyone is guilty of a little stupidity now days. Starting with our President.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Estabon

      I'm sorry but.... this is NOT presidential stupidity. Well... then again. I think the President is making a huge mistake. You have to pick your battles. This may turn out to be something that mires his Administration in a mess. So instead of dealing with some real problems with real solutions... they have chosen to jump into this pool of quicksand.

      So many issues! So little time! They pick gun control. I cannot imagine why??????

      January 16, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  67. ????

    "Parents attending had to hand in their car keys to the office before entering the auditorium". What good did this do? I guess I miss the point completely on this one. Just in case a parent wanted to drive into the auditorium maybe?

    January 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • A person

      I think they did that so a parent or other attendee couldn't go back out to their car and get a gun.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • Tracy

        Unless they left the car unlocked when they came in.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  68. Jeff

    Kimky, the State of Illinois tried to ram through a law banning all semi-automatic guns including handguns, rifles, shotguns, which is most of the guns. So yes, the government has tried and will try again to take all guns. Wait until you hear what the federal government will try to do in the next few days.

    Rajin Cajun: So you would prefer the kids don't exit the building on a fire alarm?

    Only a couple of items listed are "over the top". Police outside a school is a deterrent. Locking doors to a school is a deterrent. I agree signing in and a nametag are not much of a deterrent, but still they are a slight deterrent. What makes a psycho choose his targets? Maybe something he/she is familiar with, easy to access, no resistance. Sometimes just rage gives them the confidence to do what most normal people wouldn't think of doing. Is there anything going to be done about the actions of people? I think not. Lenore is right, Post Tramatic Stupidity Syndrome. Just like the drug war. How long has that gone on? How much money is being wasted? All because the government needs to find a quick solution before people forget about things. Just like Raum Emanual (City of Chicago Mayor), never let a good crisis to to waste.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • sokesky

      You get it, right, that semi-automatic guns are not ALL guns? Geez.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Mark

      So someone wanting to do a copycat of Newtown goes to a school where he has to sign in....and his first action is to shot the guy having folks sign in. Since there is nothing to stop him now, he can walk in and shot as many others as he wants.

      I am all for meaningful measures, ones that can actually make a difference. Signing in by showing your DL is a waste of time. Though I suppose it does give everyone else in the school that extra 20 seconds warning when the guard at the front door is shot. He should be called a 'target' not a guard.

      Make meaningful changes in the gun laws, not just knee-jerk changes that do nothing.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  69. Unegen

    All an armed guard in a school does is highlight the fact to one and all that there is, in fact, one gun within reach that could be taken and used against others.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Lou

      I disagree...I believe there is quite a bit of literature available showing the benefits of having a School Resource Officer on campus and how it deters crime within the school building

      January 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
      • A person

        We have a school resource officer, but he was there last year too, not just this year after the shooting.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  70. FearMongeringandPTSD

    the Fear Mongering and PTSD sealant is complete
    USA's proclivity to create crisis in order to control the people is replete
    the methods may not be so neat
    burned buildings make quite a mess
    lives lost create chaos and distress
    just more USA gov. created stress
    ... fear mongering to control the masses
    the crisies and chaos and lives lost (on purpose by the gov.) the biggest evil of all

    January 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  71. morgan

    I think the writer made some valid points. After a tragedy SOME people DO overreact in ways they otherwise would never even think of.

    I think the best way to protect our children is to have security doors at all entrances. Bars that will stop an intruder. What good does it do to lock a door that has a 5 x 3 foot span of glass? A crazy will just shoot out the glass and walk in. Schools could install bars for a lot less money than solid steel doors. With two sets of doors, tear gas could be installed between them. If some one managed to get past the first security door, the noise would alert school staff and they could set off the tear gas. If the creep knows about the gas and has a mask it would still allow time for students and staff to evacuate or for police to arrive. Maybe they could add a Halon system. It is heavier than air and will cause a person to pass out for lack of oxygen.

    Those are non-lethal alternatives that have occurred to me since the Newtown horror. None of the teachers I have spoken to want the responsibility of carrying a firearm. One of them suggested having a shotgun with the bean bags in a secure location that the staff could access. His thinking was it is non lethal so if one of the kids got hit by accident they would be sore and bruised, but alive. The bean bags hit hard enough to knock the wind out of 99% of people. That would allow the person holding the shotgun to approach and disarm the intruder.

    I say that because few people are emotionally prepared to get involved in a full scale shootout with someone who is not afraid to die. I don't want teachers with shaking hands to have loaded guns.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Seamus27

      A+ Ideas.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Anonymous

      I just had a brilliant idea, how about me making murder illegal?
      oh wait...

      January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • Anonymous

        and that posted in the wrong place...

        January 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  72. merlin215

    I just cannot believe what goes on her e. Mental Health issues . High Crimes , Murderous idiots out there , but yet we still continue to defend mental health ? Kids are the most important thing in the world . Lock up or security Camera's etc . The only way to help our kids until Someone can figure this out and once in for all remember that this is a type of phase complete with copycat crimes etc . and the Media is also to blame for this as they blast it all over the news so they can sell their stations and get readers . Mental health officials and liberal groups are usually screaming all sorts of facts but where are they now ??? PROTECT THE KIDS AT WHATEVER MEANS !!!!! PERIOD ! Gun control = # 2 issue Kids = # 1 !!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Merlin's therapist

      Merlin, you missed your appointment again. Please call to reschedule.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  73. Rudolf von Slatin

    Yes, some of the introduced measures are just silly or worse.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  74. Gabriel B

    When are we going to get over our fondness of ridiculing other people's efforts without ever offering solutions or ideas of our own??
    I agree: the practices the author details are for the most part inane, and seem more like minor annoyances than effective safety measures- but at least these people are doing more than just wringing their hands and making this yet another political debate.
    Part of the reason the Sandy Hook killings were so piercingly tragic is that we- as adults- felt as though we had failed those children and teachers- even living half a country away.
    We do not need to start living under lockdown, and no one part of this puzzle (security, gun control, mental health) is going to prevent these tragedies.
    But please- offer something more constructive than more self-righteous ridicule.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Mark

      Gabriel,

      Doing something that is worthless is worse than doing nothing. Taking an ineffective actions makes people feel good, so they think the problem has been solved, yet it likely is just worse and more likely you have wasted resources in taking the action. End result is that no one is safer, but we have spent more money.

      As the old saying goes, first do no harm. Then move forward with the hard decisions, taking action that results in a positive change, and not just a feel good change.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ashwin

      II agree here that the author picked the right topic BUT seems hollow in her disdain for any idea in general. Clearly hoping for a miracle solution does not work and some ideas even if ridiculous are the beginnings of a path that will get refined over time. So please stop sitting on your couch and demeaning people who are worried out of their minds but still able to use their mind to get a more restrictive (for nutcases) setup for the children, parents and the schoool on general.

      I have seen and heard many people YAP about solutions and how they are meaningless. Without offering a solution or set of ideas that are feasible and do not need a lot of lead time to be initiated. Every day matters when it comes to leaving things as they are. The author should get this in her perspective. All in all a very lopsided perspective on her behalf but not surprising as the topic itself set the stage for her.

      Some examples of her desire to look at only one aspect of the measures:

      1. Because guns don’t kill people … people with car keys kill people?
      – after the giggling in her mind dies down, I encourage the author to look at the benefits such as: This might make running away difficult for someone who maybe cannot plan too far in advance. Worth a shot.

      2. Sign in
      – I agree that this is a easily flouted measure but no reason to throw it out either. Handwriting analysis is worth a shot.

      3. How much safer is anyone – except the guard, who gets to keep this pointless job?
      – I think he serves a more relevant job just by his presence than the author here does despite her capabilities (?) in writing something constructive.

      4. If parents are inconvenienced while the system looks for a more win-win solution then so be it. Grow up and look at facts as they stand. Did you moan and complain while cellphones were the size of bricks or did you get in line and get your brick when that was the only option? Now is seems laughable so laugh it off but dont laugh at the presence of a guard.

      5. parents from now on to slam the door on other parents behind them.
      – I agree that this is ridiculous. I think a better idea would be to have swipe cards installed or scan cards which do not control the door but log people in or out. Even then some more aspects need to be controlled to make this much more better than what I have mentioned.

      Call it PTSS or whatever but wallowing in inertia is not an option and waiting for a solution to be handed down to you is going to be time-consuming, and in the interim, risky.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
  75. Riley

    I'm really glad you're a "journalist" because you obviously have a hard time relating to others. I couldn't imagine you ever being a security guard, police officer, or teacher for that matter. I mean seriously, you think police should be on their feet at all times alert and ready for mayhem? Come on. A police presence is often all that is required to deter a criminal. Oh, and you think security guards are "pointless" at schools? Now you're just being delusional and rude. As for a school where you need to call to have the door unlocked, how is that really different from hitting a buzzer to be allowed in? Are you honestly saying schools should be unlocked and allow anyone to just walk in? As an elementary educator myself, I find this piece of writing insulting and downright ignorant. Maybe if you spent a little time thinking critically about the situation rather than brainstorming sarcastic responses, this would have been worth reading. Instead, thanks for wasting 5 minutes of my day.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • majorsapp

      Upon wasting five minutes of my life, I too was inclined to waste a few more in response to this ridiculous piece. You took the words right out of my fingers. Well done Riley!

      January 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • QLR

      Riley, are you aware that the school shooting that happened a few days ago at that high school in California happened at a school that has a full-time security guard? Having guards, locked doors, buzzers, etc., is no guarantee of safety, it is merely "security theater." What it does is it creates a prison environment for teachers, students and parents, where everyone is suspect , everyone is paranoid, and nobody is actually any safer. Lenore Skenazy has actually done a lot of research on this topic and written a book about it, so I suggest you reconsider your ignorant and hateful comments (and you're a TEACHER???)

      January 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  76. Dapple

    I'm assuming the locked doors at the one school can still be opened from the inside.... fire hazard anyone? lol.

    I was in high school in colorado when Columbine happened... All we saw were a few extra cops around for a couple of months then we just saw one cop around lunch time during the rest of my time in my school. We only had one Code Red and I believe that was my senior yea because some students from another school wanted to be retarded and come beat someone up in our school during the middle of the day. Our school security ran them off(no guns were seen or used during the event).

    January 15, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  77. Juiceman64

    They clearly did not read the details on the shootings. He broke the window and got into a locked school. If the bad guy wants in, locking the glass doors are not the answer, but it makes people feel better. I hope we can get past this "knee jerk" reactions and get to thinking about real security.

    A mix of armed TRAINED POLICE (not just a posse of regular schmoos), and automated ID systems will be the wave of the future. Technical businesses already have this model and it works. Schools should adopt systems that are tried and proven, not invent yet another government solution.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  78. HH

    My building requires you to show an ID and sign a register. You must write your DL number on the log. Great. Now I can get my ID stolen. By the way – the guard is not even armed, and doesn't have a radio. Just a telephone that requires you to dial and get through the building operator to get out. It's a joke. All this nonsense does is make the sheep feel better.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  79. ja

    Same mass hysteria as the Witch Trials. How about everyone wait awhile before jumping into any action.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  80. Joan

    I understand why there may be a bit of paranoia...and whats is really wrong with that? we are talking about children that were gunned down just by being in school..as normal as place as any. I for one, am glad that diaglogue has opened up about ways to try and prevent these things from happening. If it takes a few "silly, stupid" ideas to begin the conversations needed, than so be it. Gun control is part of it, whether NRA member or anyone else gets bent out of shape about that or not. Assault rifles are not needed to hunt, or even for sport..only our military should be allowed to have them..and criminal/background checks need to be done on anyone purchasing a gun. We owe that to our children, and especially to the children of Sandy Hook

    January 15, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • DaveO

      Joan...You're not bright

      January 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • aa

      And gun control affects criminals and psychopaths how Joan? Seriously look at your statement, take a good long look at it for a second and repeat it aloud. more laws will solve nothing you know this and so do I. Murder is our most heavily enforced law and there is tons of laws prohibiting it but yet people are killed every day. so how will more laws prevent this? you can start a witch hunt on particular guns if that will make you feel safe but if you knew anything about guns you would see reloading is not a difficult process. 1 second to reload so magazine capacities and types of guns is ridiculous. Anyone can do as much damage with a hand gun than a rifle. No it is not more powerful and even if it was death is death the power behind it is irrelevant. so sure if you would like to ignore the real issue and allow more to die in vain because of it go ahead and live with that on your conscience but you will not because its everyone and everything else fault isn’t that right Joan?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Joe

      Really?? Joan, Really?? You are exactly the type of person this report is talking about!!!! This reminds me of the 5-year old that was 'suspended' from school for bringing a toy gun to school. The toy gun in question? A small two inch plastic gun that in no way, shape or form would've been able to shoot! OMG!!!! What if he would've picked up a stick and called it a gun!!! Get real.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Thomas

        Why can't anybody see that the way we raise kids today could be part of the problem. It seems to have started 30 years ago, I know your bundle of joy is the greatest thing sense ice cream and never does any thing wrong. But, lets face it, how many of you know a narcissistic, uncompassionate,(sp), have no empathy type of person. I know several, and they scare the the crap out of me, I can just imagine what they and their kids will be like when they get a little older. And the parents are perfectly ok with this.

        January 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • ron p

      It's wrong because it makes you vulnerable to emotional exploitation by politicians and special interests

      January 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • monatiesmom

      That's the way it is, Joan. You can make some logical common sense comments and you will have the paranoid, self righteous NRA and gun lover types come after you. I have two guns and I agree with Jane. Now, come after me, if it makes you happy but leave your gun at home.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  81. APB

    Merely closing the barn door after the horse is already out.

    January 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  82. kimky

    it's not just schools, it's theatres, campuses, hair salons, coffee shops...................................you cannot make all public places fortresses, that's why you take away the ability for someone to gun down a lot of people in a matter of seconds/minutes.stop all the paranoia, the government isn't going to take all of your guns and violate your rights. they simply want to keep ASSAULT weapons out of civilian hands

    January 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • matthewherch

      what happens when the police office who goes nuts guns down a bunch of kids? Or the solider?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • hysteria

      kimky... The issue with your approach is that the definition of an "assault" weapon is up for debate. Feinstein stated that she basically went through a gun magazine and circled photos of guns that looked bad to decide what to ban back in the 90's. They made (and will make) silly determinations based on arbitrary factors to decide what weapons you and I can or can't own. Then they use code words to make those weapons sound evil and dangerous when a standard hunting rifle is far more powerful than those evil black guns.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Rob-Texas

      I agree with you 100%. The assualt term is being debated. I would say if it can fire more than six shots without reloading, and it can fire those six shots faster than a Colt 45, it counts. Its just insaine that anyone thinks they need one of these weapons. If you really want to fire this type of weapon, join the armed forces. They will ship you somewhere so you can fire it every day!

      January 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Wayne

      Love to know what "rights" you think you're not violating. In other words, what purpose do you think the 2nd Amendment serves? And how do you know when you've violated that right?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • Rob-Texas

        If you can own a pistol, rifle or shotgun your rights have not been vilolated. Implying that you should have access to the same weapons the miltary uses is just insaine and anyone who thinks that, should not be allowed to own a gun. If the government comes after any of us, we will not win, no matter what kind of weapons we have in our house, garage, basement, end of the world bunker. The only thing these weapons (not all guns) are good for is killing people.

        January 15, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Eric

      @kimky You are doing exactly what the article is arguing against: making a crazy leap and calling for something that would likely have little to no effect. Calling for a ban on assault weapons as the fix to our nation’s violence problem is moronic.
      Disclaimer: I am PRO gun control, just of the logical variety not the knee jerk kind.
      It's assault RIFLES that you should be talking about as assault WEAPONS have been either banned or heavily regulated since 1934 (the National Firearms Act of 1934). On that note, there is no standard definition of assault rifle. I could take a bolt action Ruger 10/22 and with the addition of some plastic make it look like a military style rifle, which would get it banned. Conversely you could have a simple rifle that looks like what our grandparents would have gone deer hunting with and have it accept a 100 round magazine and be fully automatic.
      There were just under 15,000 murders in 2011, of which 8,583 were committed with guns. LESS than 400 of those were the result of assault rifles, which is less than 5% of the total. Doesn’t this indicate that banning or restricting assault rifles would have little impact on the gun murder rate? What about the murder rates in Chicago, NYC and DC? Those cities have strict gun control laws, yet see a disproportionately high amount of gun violence. While we should still have the gun control discussion, we can not do it at the expense of taking a high look at other causes or issues.
      There are approximately 80 MILLION guns in the United States, with almost 4 million more purchased each year (of which almost 1.4 million are the AR variety). At this point banning specific types of guns will barely reduce the availability.
      The two instances, in the United States, which resulted in the greatest loss of life for school children were both bomb related, not fire arm: the 1927 Bath School disaster and the Oklahoma City bombing. Add in that at Columbine they did not have assault rifles and it further indicates that an assault rifle ban, while PART of the solution, is by no means a panacea.
      The majority of gun owners ARE responsible. Should we take away the rights of those responsible owners with a knee jerk reaction and have almost no impact? No. Lets step back, identify what we can do that would reduce the availability of firearms, as a whole, to people who might use them illegally while not infringing on the rights of the vast majority of responsible owners.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • debbie

        and yet guns are in the hands of lunatics at an alarming rate. I hate to speak ill of the dead, but the guy who killed all the kids used his mothers guns, she was going to seek an involuntary mental commitment on him, and yet she had automatic weapons where he could get them, how responsible is that? Granted she likely never conceived of him carrying a deed like that out, it must have occurred to her he was a danger to himself or others, or you can't get them committed. I see no reason Joe Blow public needs assault weapons fit for war, but if they have them, they MUST secure them, if not they too should be prosecuted, of course in her case it would be a waste of time. There is nothing wrong with requiring a person to be registered and licensed to have a gun, we require it to drive, fish, hunt, whatever. You have the knee jerk stupid reaction of both side Left (Ban all guns) right "they wanna take away our guns" there has to be some common sense to this and it is time the issue is addressed.

        January 15, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
      • Penny Robinson Fan Club

        Another telling point: many are eager to point out, "Oh, Amurrka has the highest gun murder rate in the world (or slose, or third or whatever.) OK, conceded. But go look up the =overall= murder rate for all countries. Were pretty dang far down the chart. THEN consider how many of our murders are gang-related - criminals who, as in any country, would have guns anyway - and look at murder rates away from the biggest cities (which, oddly enough, have the =strictest= gun laws). Looks a LOT better. Look at Vermont. Ya know how many gun laws Vermont has? Well? Do ya, punk? Was it six, or only five? Actually, neither. Vermont has NO state gun laws. You can go into a store in Vermont, pass the FBI check, buy a .45 Glock with a 15 – round mag, buy the ammo, load it up, stick it in your coat pocket, and walk out the door.

        Gee whiz! Vermont must have gun violence like old Dodge City; paging Marshall Dillon! Yeah. Guess again. Look up Vermont's crime rate. Or NH's.Or Wyoming or South Dakota. A lack of gun control DOES NOT equate to gun violence, no matter how much the haters want you to believe that, no matter how they twist the facts.

        Has anyone mentioned that Conn. already HAS some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country?

        January 16, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  83. Rajin Cajun

    At my son's school, they have an elaborate lock down procedure that kicks in the moment a "stranger" so much as even looks at the school. BUT, in the event of a fire drill they send the entire student body out onto the street and into the yards of residences bordering the school. Anyone gives this any thought for a moment and you can see the possibilities for something really bad to happen. The schools don't give any of this any real thought, just react so they can show people they're doing something. A lot of the comments here are correct: if someone wants to do something, not much you're gonna do to stop them. We're really just fortunate we live in a Country where most people are NOT crazed killers.

    January 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
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