By 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.
One of the NRA lies is that liberals oppose guns. Some do, many don't. Many Conservatives oppose guns, and much opposition to gun ownership comes from Police.
Most American guns are manufactured in the liberal states of Conecticut, Mass., and NYS.
Vermont, the most liberal state in the union, has almost no gun control. [This may change in Burlington]
Wyatt Earp waa no liberal, but he alloed no guns in Dodge, it worked!!
THANK you. This liberal is a proud, law-abiding gun owner who had to jump through hoops to buy her guns. NC does not have a "gun show loophole." ALL handgun purchases of any kind require a permit to purchase. I'm tired of being blamed because a jerk chose to slaughter innocent people.
@ NS:There is an infinite difference with what Wyatt Earp did and banning guns. Wyatt Earp temporarily impounded all weapons of people who came into the city limits of Dodge and people picked up their weapons when they left Dodge. You might take also take note, Wyatt Earp and deputies WERE armed, it was not strictly a gun free zone. Another item you might note is that Wyatt was hired to be the sheriff of Dodge because of his reputation as a gunfighter and at least one of his deputies were also gunfighter: Doc Holliday and Dodge City was tamed by a person who took personal security with a firearm very seriously.
Schools are FAR safer places for children to be than just about anywhere else. The chances of dying in a mass school shooting are less than getting struck by lightning. Any money being put into new safety systems would be far better spent on increasing access to mental health services (or, if we really want to save kid's lives, on highway safety).
@LivinginVA, exactly right.
A sign in sheet only gives the cops a piece of evidence after the fact. After. For prevention, harden the targets and watch how readily other persistently soft targets get picked instead. There's a reason why overwhelming firepower is selected to prey on an especially vulnerable, helpless target: it guarantees that no one will stop them before they get at least some of what they want. Are AR15s really necessary for killing babies? Of course not, any weapon, of any kind, even bare hands, can kill babies. No, the killer chooses the two extremes, super easy to fire many rounds to super easy to kill, so as to maximize attainment of his goal. Harden the target. Because we all know if we did, especially this target, other easier targets would get picked instead. We all know it.
I moved to a new school last year and have noticed some key differences in the High Schools. At my old school, we had 4 security guards (2 roaming the halls, 1 at the front door, one in the parking lot), cameras in every hallway and stairwell (most of which didn't work, but were in place to deter student "wrong doings"), and nothing else security wise. At my new school, we have 1 Police officer, a rule in which every door must be locked and closed at all times (which just annoys everyone more than protect us), hall pass rules so strict that if you don't have a pass you may as well be carrying a gun, and an insane new rule in which we must wear our school IDs on lanyards at ALL TIMES because they "allow the distinguishment between students, faculty, visitors (who were given an sticker saying they were a visitor) and any gun wielding madman who for some reason feels the need to attack our school." (everyone has started a joke the new tags are bulletproof). Because let's face it, it's not like a student could bring a gun. *kid walking down hall holding a magnum* *teacher stops him* "Hey, where's your ID tag!" *kid puts it on then continues along* "Next time I will write you up!" But back to the point, when will schools finally allow some freedoms without consequences. I know things like this happen, but which will protect a student more? 4 security guards or possibly 1 police officer, or a piece of plastic hanging from our neck.
And then there's the Celina, TX school district, who has done absolutely nothing to upgrade it's security. In fact, just last week, a parent went up there claiming to have a gun (but, thankfully, didn't), and managed to "fake kill" about 30+ student and faculty members before being arrested. The most upsetting part of all this? Even though the school was eventually put on lock down until the staff was sure he didn't have a real gun, parents weren't notified until 24 hours later.. Still, no security upgrades in the near future. Guess the school district is moving forward on simply the hopes that the next crazy parent also doesn't weild a real gun..
@ Howie: Create a vacuum and something will try to fill that place, it's a law of physics. Declaring a place or a home a gun free zone is an open invitation to certain types of criminals. Criminals and gunmen normally won’t go where guns are present, because at heart, most criminals are cowards. In every recent case where a shooter was stopped quickly was because someone with conceal carry was able to stop the shooter and prevented MORE deaths. MANY deaths can occur in the 3-5 minutes it takes police to arrive and Sandy Hook is a prime example of that. If someone armed HAD been on scene maybe things would have turned out different. Heaven forbid that anyone should die, so err on the side of life and put discrete protection around those we love. I am a nationally registered EMT and I know that decisive actions are necessary to preserve human life and sometimes people need help in seconds, not minutes. There are very good reasons why people learn CPR, but the MAIN reason is for first responders to initiate life saving measures immediately and continue until help arrives, which double or triples chances of survival. The SAME should be true in trying to prevent another shooting. In this instance the shooter shot his way into the school that had just installed electronic locks on the doors, so that people had to be buzzed in. In effect the shooter announced his entrance quite loudly. An armed police office would have immediately recognized that sound and responded. Again, err on the side of life and put discrete protection around those we love. NO protection for our kids is like putting them in a car without child restraints, hoping nothing happens. We know that is child endangerment. We hope another shooting never happens again, but the sad reality of it all is that we know shootings WILL happen because our society is on a slippery slope going more and more out of control. Of all the things I have read and heard regarding trying to recognize people before they kill, I think we need to address anger in schools and at home. Both parents and teachers need to be able to recognize signs of hidden anger and it’s manifestations, because these mass shootings we are seeing are a violent expression of anger.
Actually, criminals LOVE to know what homeowners have guns. It lets them know which ones have valuables worth the effort. They just watch the place until everyone leaves and break in. Guns sell better than flat screen TVs on the black market.
Actually, Old Shoe, in no mass shooting has anyone with concealed carry every stopped it. Ever. There was someone with a concealed weapon at a mall shooting but he wasn't able to fire because there were innocent people in his way. An off-duty police officer shot a man who had shot his ex-girlfriend in a public spot, but there was no indication he was going to kill anyone else.
At the high school in California recently where a student shot two people before being "talked down" by school staff, the school had a full-time security guard. Obviously it did no good.
The point of this article is that all of this amounts to security theater... something to make us feel good, like we are doing something, when all we are really doing is making ourselves jump through hoops just to go about daily life. A gunman like the one at Sandy Hook doesn't care if anyone has a gun; he is suicidal and delusional, and just wanting to shoot people for some internal reason. If these people always shoot themselves, why would they care if you shot them instead? Not to mention that he was carrying three weapons, including an assault rifle, which fires faster and with more accuracy than any concealed weapon you would be likely to carry. Guns are not the great equalizers people make them out to be, but they sure do give a false sense of security.
I can understand some of these, but not letting people "piggyback" makes sense. When I was going to Eastern Michigan University, a girl on campus was killed because kids in the dorms were holding the door open for anyone who wanted to get into the dorm. Someone let in a guy who wasn't a student, and was there to check for unlocked doors to steal laptops. Unfortunately, he also ended up raping and killing someone.
Depends on who and the situation. If you are at a school and someone you see picking up and dropping off a kid at the same time as you every day is behind you, it's kind of silly to make them buzz in. Same is true of a man or woman who is holding the hand of pre-schooler, or an infant seat while carrying a spiderman backpack and talking to a kid who looks 7 or 8.
And when I was in college, a few friends and I allowed a young man to piggyback into our dorm building behind us...whereupon he ran up to the third floor and jumped out a window in an attempt to kill himself.
We cannot predict every random act, nor live in fear that the person coming in behind us has some ill will. I don't blame myself or my friends in *any way* for that young man's actions. Holding the door is, on 99.9999999% of occasions, simple courtesy and shouldn't be discouraged.
Why do we ask for authorities to try and make changes in a system..? And when they do something in their control, why do we comment about it? Schools are only good at educating children. They cannot foresee and eliminate shootings (and other incidents). They can only try and implement solutions within their control.
They cannot do anything to weapon control. Government has to do it. So do schools just wait for government? No!! However inconvenient it is, we need to respect every attempt of theirs, even if it means having to make someone put their briefcase on the floor to key in the code. Wont you do that, if you have to unlock your home's entrance .. or do you just leave the door open?
If we can, let's suggest better ways to be safe. But why pointlessly complain about every action and response?
Complaining does no good but neither do the immediate responses of educators... they are notorious for creating rules in the immediate aftermath of an incident that happened somewhere else and had nothing to do with their school. After Columbine clear backpacks and no trench coats (even though it was later reported the boys didn't have on trench coats that day), after a teacher wrote on a kid's face reminding the parents about her glasses no other teacher in the country could paint on their student's faces (like pumpkins on their cheeks at Halloween, etc...). However, all of this was allowed to fade away as time passed and people forgot and it became clear that these policies don't work. There is no way to be 100% safe anywhere in life and our actions (I'm an educator) teach kids something – they teach them that you react in a way to make yourself feel safer even if it's stupid and ends up violating people's freedom. We have taught them that security is more important than liberty – BAD lesson!
I've been complaining about this phenomenon for years, but people accuse me of being insensitive. The problem is that anyone with an agenda can easily manipulate people who are looking to prevent any further tragedies. Politicians: "Vote for my legislation, and I'll make sure this never happens again!"
Keep complaining. Your voice also needs to be heard.
All the precautions in the world will not stop a lunatic. A cop at the door? So the freak walks up and shoots him without warning. The only thing that saves us is that most people are (relatively) within the bounds of reason. You can commit mayhem in a schoolyard or a sidewalk or a church. Our sense of order is under assault by the kooks of this world, and our only solace is that they're a fringe group.
Lunacy cannot be predicted by anyone. But a veteran or LE officer are trained observers and are more situational-aware than the rest of us. It's better than no one at all, such as now. Harden the target and watch how softer targets start getting picked instead. Watch.
The solution is simple, randomly pick 20 to 30 children from various points in the country and then put them in a game where they fight to the death. This even will be called the starving games or something like that and you charge pay per view to watch. You then round up everyone that buys the paper view and make them compete every other year. Less annoying children and less people that want to see them die.
What is paper view? You mean pay-per-view?
I think you mean "Battle Royale." Hunger games was a rip-off.
Having a gun in the home makes you have a much higher chance of an injury to a family member or yourself than to an intruder.
Having guns in the schools will have the same result.
If that becomes a common requirement, at some point, we will be hearing about a teacher's weapon either accidentally discharging, or being compromised, with injuries resulting. I have no doubt.
really – how many time do you hear of a policemans gun discharging by itself
well trained people don't pull out their guns for show and tell – it is not a toy
Actually, I hear about it often enough. Locally, Two officers in the last couple of years left guns out at home and their children died.
we had a police officer leave is gun on top of his car and drive away. had enough one so drunk that he didn't realize that he left behind a backpack that had his service weapon in it. yea, guns in the hands of trained experts.
A quick search on YouTube should answer that for you. There's a lovely one of a cop shooting himself in the foot.
Actually, God, with 20 years in law enforcement, I have either seen or heard about all kinds of stupidity that trained professionals have engaged in with their guns. We're not immune to making mistakes, believe me.
One of my coworkers walks with a limp because he shot himself in the foot.
Another left his handgun in a vehicle – it was turned in by the prison inmate who was doing maintenance on the vehicle. OOPS.
Another got kind of uncomfortable with the gun in her holster when she sat down, so she took the gun out and laid it on her lap – pointed directly at ME.
I'm not saying this to imply that I work with a bunch of idiots. I'm just trying to tell you that we're all a bunch of human beings, and just being a "trained professional" is no guarantee that you won't make a mistake. And – when mistakes happen with guns around, the results can be tragic.
That is a false correlation. The incidence with personal gun use injury at home should factor in domestic violence, alcohol and drugs, and poor visibility at night, none of which should be a factor at a school. Face it, guns will make schools safer, but the reality is this kind of tragedy is too rare for it to require any action.
Poor visibility at night – I'll give you that point.
As for there being no domestic violence in the school, well, since the word "domestic" means "in the home" you're right on that point as well. However, a school can have workplace violence, as well as any other kind of violence. Ever see a fistfight break out in a school hallway?
Well, at least there's no concern about alcohol or drugs in school ... oh, wait ...
I agree with Ann. Even if it is not an accidental gun injury, a gun requirement would bring more crime than safety.
It’s true that having a gun at home makes you feel safe, in a world filled with shootings / theft and other crimes. Let’s assume guns are accepted as a common requirement and everyone is allowed to have one at home. But who knows what your neighbor (who also has a gun) plans to do with it? It is not that he/she is evil, they could be mentally ill and you may not know it. Anything can provoke a harsh action. Adam Lanza looks like every other normal human being to me…the next shooter can be anyone.. can be the girl next door too..
You can stay safe in other ways.. Have better security personnel in school. Install better technology etc.
Lenore Skenazy, Good for you, young lady. Good thinking, good reasoning, good vision for the future.
Guard at a school is something like a Lock at home. A thief wanting to steal can easily break the lock, but then why do we have locks? ....to deter..prevent.
I found it really interesting with my daughters elementary school (she is in 1st grade) that they immediately came out with a statement that they already are very safe and take every precaution, blah, blah, blah.... Then they stated that over break they would be installing intercom systems with multiple cameras where you would need to be buzzed in during the school day (which is the same thing Sandy Hook had, which did not prevent this tragedy). Still... was more than what we had. I went there for the first time during school hours today and saw the camera and intercom system and was pretty impressed. I buzzed to be let in.... waited.... then someone came through and said you can go in the door is already open. HUH? What is the point then???
Our high school sent an email to parents reminding them in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting to sign in if they visit the campus. Anyone can walk on the campus from any direction at any time. There's no central entrance and no fence around the school, but the rule is that visitors go first to the office to sign in. You walk up to a sign-in sheet, write your own name and the time. That's it. No one is checking IDs or even watching you sign in. So the people who are potential problems are not going to follow the rule and even if they did, what difference would it make? We'd know their name and what time they arrived?
yes so we can send them an email telling them they did a bad thing
People just want to feel good even though none of those actions have any bearing or effect whatsoever on mentally disturb people doing bad things. But as they say, "Get back to normalcy" versus "finding the real root cause of the problem" and fixing it. Won't happen. New TV season is upon us and we have to see what the next reality TV super star says so we can ignore our own reality.
You write: "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."
At the school I work at, the purpose of the visitor sign-in was not necessarily to perform a background check on the spot; the purpose was to know how many (new) people are on the premises at any given time. In the event of an emergency, say a fire, for example, the school can consult enrollment and faculty directories to account for all students and staff. Visitors would not show up on those lists; however, anyone on campus needs to be accounted for in such a situation.
Lenore's point was schools need better security measures.
As part of the office staff, I am supposed to know at all times who is on campus so that anyone who calls can get in touch with students or staff. Everyone is required to sign in and out. None of this prevents a shooting. It is just common sense in a medical emergency.
Same with my school. I was there during a fire drill once, and they took the visitor log with them to help determine that we'd all exited the building.
TrytoUnderstand: No, actually her point was that it is way to simple for security measures to be increased to the point of absurdity and that many of them are unnecessary.
If forbidding "piggybacking" (also called "tailgating") is so silly, then why do the US military and other federal agencies forbid it when entering controlled and restricted areas?
Because these are controlled and restricted areas, and such measures are needed to protect national security interests. Schools and day care centers are not military fortresses–at least, not yet.
yes -the guy in Texas that shot up the military base...IN A RESTRICTED AREA
works real well
Except at the most secure facilities, if you know the person you are holding the door open for, it's not a big deal (yes, I know many people who work at secure facilities under a range of "secure"). If I'm a parent and the person behind me is someone I've seen (even if don't know their name) going in and out the building since the school year started, I'm not going to slam the door on them.
You may know the person coming in behind you, as you see him there now and then. What you might not know is that the mother and him are divorcing, and that she has custody, not him. The center would know that and block his code.
Would it be better to put up a poster stating that he is no longer allowed to pick up the kids?
So glad to hear it LivinginVA. Returning to friendlier, more polite, etc. behavior between members of our communities seems more likely to prevent tragedies than encouraging people further down the rudeness road.
Forbidding tailgating isn't the issue in of itself. It's slamming the door on someone you know that's the issue. We're talking day care center, not a secure data vault. Shut the door on someone you don't know? Makes perfect sense. Shut the door on someone you -do- know, just because it's the rule? Silly.
I work for a federal contractor, and we need to make sure the person behind us has a badge with their picture on it. We don't typically slam doors in faces unless that person isn't wearing one. If you don't have an ID, you don't belong there. Visitors are required to check in with security to get a visitors badge, so everyone's got one on. Maybe something like that would work.
I don't know about military installations, but having worked for several federal agencies, I can tell you that with the exception of some extremely anal Defense Department folks, federal agencies do not care about piggybacking. Oh they may have a rule, but it's only enforced when the contractor security guard is feeling pi$$y and wants to annoy someone.
Take 5% of our current older, near retirement, military force and let them spend their last three years in the service at a school near their home . This would provide one soldier per school for every school in our country. A seasoned soldier would be better than an armed teacher that went to school to teach not provide security to their students.
Not in a million years will I allow you turn my child's school into a military fortress. You pull your own kid out of school if you're that paranoid and make your paranoia your kid's problem and not mine.
Do mean like at an Airport?
Or at a theater?
Who could you interpret one person out of uniform as being a military fortress?
It's a bleeping SCHOOL, you lunatic. There shouldn't be even one single person in a military uniform at all. For the love of God, will you LISTEN TO YOURSELF???
DB, I suggest you put a big sign in front of your kids' school that says "NO ARMED SECURITY ON CAMPUS". Or would you not want to advertise that?
It's like talking to a wall.
I think the point is that a soldier will be better equipped from a training and skill standpoint to take on a bad situation than a teacher. And, seriously, one soldier providing security is no different than an armed police officer, or even a hired security guard. More important, it doesn't turn the school into an armed fortress. In fact, it's probably more rational a solution, and less of a "fortress mentality" than installing metal detectors and locking all the doors on campus.
It's been proven over and over that these people have a few screws loose. As they should with what they've seen and done.
I don't even care about turning our schools into a fortress.... I care about purposely putting unstable people "guarding" our kids.
Mike, why do we need to do ANYTHING? In most schools across America, we don't need soldiers, police, or metal detectors. Can you tell me what the chances of a mass shooting at an average school are? If you're insisting on extra security, you should be prepared to explain to me why it's necessary with some hard data. So go ahead: convince me that my child is at significant risk. Go.
@DB, you're one of those paid shills, aren't you? Sitting in a boiler room leaving fake comments meant to change the flow of the conversation, or stop it by ridiculing or haranguing other commenters? Who knows, but you just strike me that way. I'd like my kids to have security commensurate with their value, not the value of my tender sensibilities. Right now, they are considered super easy targets. If we add trained good guys with guns around them, they will stop being even considered. Overnight. But will we take it seriously enough to do that? Nooooooo, we don't want out feelings hurt, we don't want to spend the money, we don't want to treat the mentally ill, we we we we we.... and the band plays on...
Last three years? Of a four year term? This is crazy talk. What door will they guard?, What about lunch, break, distractions. I will bet you all the copies of Harry Potter that you are a Liberal.
I'm a upstanding conservative. Who said a four year term soldier, not me? Has anyone ever seen an Air Marshal on a plane? Who is the soldier and who is the teacher at the school? That guy, that lady, which one? It would be a deterrent.
Near retirement generally means servicemen who have been in their respective branch of the military long enough to earn retirement, so 20 years. Four years only earns you an honorable discharge from the military, among other things.
I agree with Art, it would be nice to have security at the entrances of our schools. It's already done in many districts, and a lot of schools already have security on premises so its not anything new.
So Art, to blend in will this person teach class? Where will they keep their gun? How will a lone person with one gun stop a crazy person with multiple weapons? The gun man in Conn. knew that police would be on their way. They chose to kill them self. I fail to see how your idea will solve any problems. Just create more.
Actually, when I used to fly all the time for work, I got pretty good at identifying the Air Marshal when one was aboard. They weren't hard to spot if you knew what to look for.
Adam might have gone to another school if he knew there was an armed person 'somewhere' in the school. What problems am I creating here? That security person would be asking for ID's, checking the parking lot, picking up a kid's pencil that he dropped, sitting in the back of a class periodically just like administration people are periodically required to do, anything that helps. Eventually every school might not need full-time security but it might drop back to several schools per person but you would not know which school (similar to Air Marshals).
Art: There is no reason to believe that knowledge of an armed security guard is going to stop someone so crazy that he thinks shooting a bunch of innocent people is a good idea.
Two example: there was an armed security guard at Columbine – he even exchanged fire with one the guys. The guy at Fort Hood certainly knew that he was surrounded by armed people.
Excellent out of the box suggestion. While I may not agree completely, I applaud that you chose not to do what seems to be the pendulum swing of consensus that you are either stupid fortrying to think of alternative and effective solutions or trying to build a sense of control and security into the environment. There was no mention by this author of one component. What's in the kid's best interests? Maybe kids need to see the police to make them simply feel a little bit better? Maybe the kids know that people sneak in doors when they aren't allowed to get up from the lunch table without permission and they wonder why that is? But no thought put into that in this notice that anyone who tries and if at first they don't succeed...with an effective improvement has failed completely. We'll never figure it out at this rate!
And who would pay for this?
We are already paying these near retirement soldiers. We just don't have to uniform or house them anymore.
You do realize that the military is prohibited from being used for law enforcement within the U.S., right? Please refer to the Posse Comitatus Act.
Unless we have to call them in for a Domestic Crisis Management. Like at airports in 2002?????
or if the President declares martial law
I will not train my kids to be paranoiacs, going to school with patrolled prison-like walls between them and the world. If you want that world for them, be my guest, but I aim to bring my children up in a way that helps this country in the long run, not hurts it.
How did my one out-of-uniform soldier turn the school into a prison?
Studies have shown that armed security guards make students feel LESS safe (why would we have them if we don't need them). Studies who are fearful for their safety don't learn as well. Considering that the chances of a child being killed in a mass school killing is smaller than dying from a lightning strike, I fail to see why we would want to subject our kids to that stress.
I repeat, like an Air Marshal scares your kid???????
Art: I repeat – there have been studies that have shown that adding armed guards to schools make students feel LESS safe.
I think this is a great idea. We already have a police officer on duty at the high school I work at but it's a big school (2,400 students) and there are a lot of entrances (although visitors are only supposed to go to the front of the school). They don't have to walk around with guns at the ready, but just to have someone skilled in security would maybe be a deterrent.
You must be joking.
I mean no disrespect to our soldiers but they are killing themselves more than they are being killed in afghanistan.
These people have seen and been through things no person should have have to go through.
With that said, no way in H E double hockey sticks are they to be around our children en mass. With PTSD and any number of issues with our kids, is the last places these folks need to be.
PTSD is no joking matter. Military servicemen and woman commit suicide, one of the causes being PTSD. Not all service members who go down range and come back have PTSD, so don't assume every soldier, marine, airmen, or seaman has PTSD.
OK! Think of it – elementary school – 600 kids – four wings – 25 rooms
So you are going to cover that with one old man? Won't work
OK, I'm out of here. Nobody presented an alternative to my off-the-cuff suggestion. Anyone has the ability to be pessimistic. My glass is always half full. Bye, have a nice day.
My school district can't afford new technology but we can pay for armed guards?
I think that might be one of the advantages to using a soldier. They would not be paid by the school board, but by the military just like they would be anyway. They just happen to be protecting your children instead of doing something else.
Until schools are built like fortresses or prisons (and I think that day is coming) then none of these measures make much difference. Lanza broke through a locked door at Sandy Hook. Having parents sign in or confiscating their car keys does nothing and having the kids wear name tags just makes the bodies easier to identify after the next lunatic wants to vent and get attention.
For what it's worth, Alex, Schools of Thought will run a piece later this week that deals with how school buildings are designed. Thanks for reading!
Having everyone sign in provides a list of participants, which can then be compared to a list of missing, or a list of casualties. It helps to prevent someone from being injured, alone, and unaccounted for.
A knee-jerk reaction to a knee-jerk reaction is another sign of PTSS.
no it doesn't...
Agreed. It also requires the staff to setup a single point of entry, with someone looking for potential signs of danger. Secondly, the "piggybacking" issue is not unreasonable. I work in a corporate environment that is susceptible to similar issues. The trouble with piggybacking is that nobody ever challenges people following them in. That guy following you in could be a parent you haven't met, or perhaps an ex-husband looking to take his kids' custody the violent way. Do you know? No, but you just let him walk right into the building.
Or the ex-wife. But of course you're not an insecure "progressive" mom with a double standard, right?
@Selgran: Decidedly not. I neither have kids, nor plan to. However, I have a rather intimate understanding of the concerns, as my sister's mother attempted to kidnap her in high school. She was old enough to decide on her own custody, and she chose to stay with us through high school, but her mother decided she wasn't going to take no for an answer. Fortunately, the school staff helped delay her as long as possible while the police (who was also my father) arrived.
But that's author's point. Do we want to run society in which every action, either a special even or a dayly routine, starts by creating measures for the potential post-shooting search and recovery? Should colleges, stadiums, bars, supermarkets also maintain such lists at any given moment?.
And what are the odds that something so traumatic would happen at an evening school performance that a sign-in sheet would need to be consulted? These kinds of billion-to-one odds are exactly the kind of thing the author is panning.
By this logic, maybe we should have sign-in sheets everywhere we go: Malls, airports, churches, office buildings. To use the motto of today's paranoia, anything can happen, you know!
And exactly how many malls, bars, and stadiums will be held accountable for identifying their patrons? None, but a school sure as hell is. The responsibilities placed on the administration of a school are ridiculous compared to any other location or activity that involves children or parents. If the administrators and teachers don't take every effort in their power (and sometimes ones outside of their power) they are held accountable for every accident and incident, regardless of their implausibility or actual involvement. This is in part due to the ridiculous expectations that parents have, and partly due to the legal responsibilities (In Iowa the school is involved in any crime dealing with students anywhere in something like a half-mile radius of the facility itself).
Tea party patriots typically spend Friday nights at Walmart fondling guns and knives. They spend Saturday nights fondling their cousins.
Justify your comment. Take a stable, 40-something year old male who earns a living, volunteers with his son's hockey team, and treats friends and strangers alike with respect. However, he knows that a certain percentage of the populace pose the threat of harm, and he chooses to keep a gun in his home. How does that make him incestuous?
Typical Liberal comment.
Pathetic that you can't even deal with the arguments of your opponents; you have to invent positions they never took.
Typical leftie loser.
Seriously. You may not agree with the Tea Party political stance, but how does that give them fetishes for weapons and family members?
That comment is totally off topic and adds nothing intelligent to the discussion.
Sigh, but since you are evidently NOT a tea partier that explains the lack of forethought and intelligence.
It's easy to say that people are doing stupid things in response to the tragedy(ies) – It's not so easy to suggest meaningful, creative solutions to the problem.
It's kinda like those comedians that make fun of what celebrities where on the red carpet. Maybe it's entertaining, but it's not really very helpful.
WEAR on the red carpet. Sorry.
Toby, the problem is that people tend to follow those knee-jerk emotional reactions to the extreme and not consider anything that could be considered a rational, balanced approach.
The highschool i used to teach at took a very sensible approach in my opinion.
They beefed up the locks on the exterior fire doors with wrap-wround plates, They moved the SRO from upstairs in one wing to a ground floor centralized location, and put in security cameras that are wired to the admin office, and the SRO. The front doors of the school are a double door system that requires you to pass through the admin office once school is in session. If one of the exterior doors are forced open, an alarm sounds in the SRO office and the admin office prompting lockdown.
Even the exterior gym doors for classes require a teacher to unlock them to let students back into the building.
Granted, that particular school /was/ designed and built by a commercial firm specializing in detention facilities...
War on terrorism? Hehe. Perhaps the Afghans and Iraqis should come to the next NRA convention and campaign for their sovereign and unalienable rights to keep their guns. Why the double standard?
When I was in Iraq (2008), households were allowed to have one AK-47 for protection of the household.
REPUBLICAN POSITION ON GUN CONTROL...
Don't infringe on our sovereign and unalienable rights to bear arms...
But allow us the sovereign and unalienable right to take away the guns of the Afghans and the Iraqis. Pathetic.
When I was in Iraq, households were allowed to have one AK-47 or pistol per home for defense. Seriously. When I left (2008) the district I was in was starting to set up a permit system where you needed a permit for the weapon (but you were still allowed to have it).
Read your comments tomorrow.
I guarantee you will be back on your meds for good this time.
Let see, Liberals believe that drug laws are not enforceable, yet think that passing a law to ban gun clips will stop mass killings. That pot is some wacky stuff, man.
I conquer, I served in Iraq (among other places) and Iraqis were allowed to posses one ak-47 (or AK variant) per household. Note that a ak-47 (or variant) is a FULLY AUTOMATIC rifle. Fully automatic rifles are not legal to possess with out a FFL. AR-15 are not assault rifles. Assault weapons are fully automatic... I don't understand why the media keeps on calling the AR-15 an assault weapon. Furthermore, I was shot with a M4 in a friendly fire accident in Iraq. If I would have been shot with a typical deer hunting rifle I would have been toast (higher velocity and larger bullet than the AR-15). For the record – I am a democrat and I support the NRA's position.
I meant concur – sorry for the typo...
The only difference between 'full-auto', and 'semi-auto' is number of bullets wasted. The 27 people at Sandy Nook were all shot "repeatedly" in less than five minutes after the glass door was shattered by a bullet. The real difference between an assault weapon and a hunting rifle is the number of bullets it will carry.
The "sign in" requirement reminds me of those signs at the bank that instruct people to remove hats and glasses for security reasons. It's sort of like saying, "if you're planning to rob the bank, please be so kind as to make it easier for us to identify you later."
You inconvenience the people you don't have to worry about and accomplish nothing else.
So the guy who walks in to the bank and leaves his hat pulled down and sun glasses on doesnt draw attention quickly? If the law abiding people do and suddley one doesnt, its pretty easy to see which one is not like the other. Maybe gives a few extra seconds to do something that matters. Probably why your not in the security business.
Andrew thinks that because you do not follow his rules then you are not a law abiding citizen. Oh, sorry, it was just a little old lady with prescription glasses for glaucoma. You can get up off the floor now mam. Andrew thought that you were a bank robber. No harm done, have a nice day.
I'm a a disabled veteran. I've deployed to countries where the government disarmed its citizens and armed soldiers walk the streets to protect its citizens. I won't list all of the countries because you know them already; there are suicide bombings, be headings, gang rapes, genocide, etc. happening virtually everyday in these countries. You can't travel without going through checkpoints. Everywhere you go, supposedly, only the good guys have guns because the guns are banned. Now look at America in the wake of 9/11. Does the TSA really make travel safer. Correct me if I'm wrong but there have been two incidents that occurred but they both happened after the person passed thru security. Maybe they just don't publish all of the terror attacks they've foiled.
I don't want to live in a country where for my own protection we ban guns. Because then only evil people and cops will have guns. And I don't want to live in a country where we have armed militia roaming the streets for my own protection. So how do we prevent these tragedies, while preserving our right to defend ourselves? Lets hear it. Lets solve the problem.
Consider the fact that the "two incidents that occurred" were unsuccessful. That should count for something, should it not? Although I'm not giving the TSA the credit, I'm giving it to the FBI.
Y'see the thing is, you can't keep an eye on EVERYBODY in the world. Anybody who wants to can find instructions for how to build a bomb, that was even true before the internet (remember the Anarchist Cookbook?). But finding the instructions isn't enough, you also need expertise...and very few people have that expertise AND the desire to actually do it. 9/11 was a feat of incredible planning and coordination. It took YEARS to develop and execute that plan. Since then, the FBI seems to be doing a very good job of focusing on credible threats, the well-organized groups that could actually pull off something like that. So now, the only people who even attempt terrorist acts in the skies are incompetent "lone wolves" like the fool that set his underwear on fire. So yeah...the system worked. Nobody died, right?
The answer is to do nothing because it's an emotional problem, not an actual problem. Deer kill more people than mass shootings in America. Deer just don't hurt people emotionally.
Emotional solutions to a non-existent problem will just hurt more people.
I would like to see you say that directly to the parents of those shildren who were gunned down, multiple gun shot wounds, 1st graders. explain to them they are only being emotional
kimky, do you honestly believe that's a reasonable, relevant point you just made?
Kimk I wouldn't because they're grieving. But as responsible adults and citizens we must not let our emotions guide us into irrationally giving up liberties for perceived security.
We can start by everybody not acting like the person who thinks differently than them are psychotic, idiotic, unsympathetic, etc. Dialogue and compromise are a lost art in politics.
Second, we need to examine facts, and a lot of them. Not just the ones that agree with our opinion.
Third, get our heads out of our asses. My wife works in Baltimore City as a school teacher. Her school has had shootings out in the street, dead bodies show up on the front step, etc. Some of her first graders have seen dead bodies on their own school property. If I was black, I would be furious when I hear people in the media say, we shouldn't have our 6-7 year old kids go to school in fear for their life. People having a desire to kill other people for whatever the reason is the problem. That is what needs to be addressed
The terrorist acts failed at least in part because the perpetrators were forced to 1. Hide the device in their underwear and 2. Hide the device in their shoe. As opposed to retaining lax security and allowing them to stroll on board with a common (and more reliable) device packed inside carry-on.
Enhanced procedures, dogs, scanners, and staff requires the use of more exotic methods and chemicals that are more difficult to obtain, develop, and execute. That's not even considering the effect of deterrence from increased security measures.
Critical thinking. Try it.
we're allowed to own guns in Canada (mostly rifles for hunting) but we're not allowed to carry or conceal handguns, and I believe our annual number of deaths by shooting is around 200 as opposed to approximately 9000 in the US (not counting the approximately 11000 accidental shootings annually). These numbers seem to indicate that the problem is not guns in general...maybe it's specifically handguns that make the difference? Or maybe fear?
10x population, suicides, war on drugs. Not much government can do about suicides. Maybe more psychological help. War on drugs could be ended with the stroke of a pen.
Nah, its just too cold for crime in Canada, eh... ? :)
I like that Lenore sashays in after showing a fake ID.
A school taking up keys before an elementary school concert? Is there a point to this? How am i to trust that my child's school won't "lose my keys"?...next thing i know, my car is stolen. Heck i wouldn't even trust a valet with my keys, regardless the value of the car.
Someone please explain this logic...
I think they didn't want anyone copying the bat-man shooter, and propping open some back door, then going to their car to get all the guns. I bet they figured if they kept the keys, no one could access their stockpile of weapons. The writer of this article didn't bother to go into any detail whatsoever on why the rules were set up.
I suppose, but the last car i bought had THREE sets of keys, not to mention that you could simply just leave a car/trunk unlocked if you wanted to go to retrieve weapons. OR you could give then some ambiguous "fake" key to an old vehicle.
Schools can exercise authority on their students, but not on the tax paying parents. I would not trust giving my keys to some of the people working in some public schools.
...oh and wouldn't it be nice when one of those blockhead-administrators loses my keys and then doesn't claim liability. I understand the issue here is safety from violence, but this taking up keys is analogous to teachers taking up a students cell phone...it just does NOTHING!
JJB – no one can explain the logic of this. how can you explain the logic of actions which are devoid of logic? lol
1. Round up all the owners of semi-automatic weapons.
2. Temporarily lock them in old, abandoned airplane hangars.
3. Load them into box cars and transport them to the deep south.
4. Confine them to special camps where they can blow each other's brains out.
You...are a complete idiot. I would go into the reasons why, but it's already obvious.
@palintwit; The reason we have semi-automatic weapons and the inherent right to bear them given by a higher authority and the 2nd amendment is to prevent number 1
1. Cut off your welfare check
2. Cut off your food stamps
3. Take away your obama phone
4. Take away your section 8 housing
5. Repeat for all of your neighbors
I bet after we do that, you would have wished you had bought that assault weapon to protect your family from your fellow lefties...
Criminals will then use crowbars to break into your house. Break through every door of your house and then do "" things to you and your family as you try to talk them into peace and harmony. Semi, etc. are not the issue. Reduce mag size, big deal they'll carry more clips. No one is shooting back. Everytime those nut jobs encounter resistance they kill themselves. Columbine and Paduka were during the 90's ban. Meaningless to people who have gone over the deep end. Figure out the root cause and stop trying to deal with the symptoms. It won't solve anything.
Deep south? Isn't Newtown in Connecticut?
twit, you do realize that semi-automatic includes pretty much every handgun?
Of course you don't. You're a twit, afterall.
Seriously? I really hope you're kidding . . .
I customized my name especially for you! :D
Wow, that is a plan that even Hitler would approve. Don't forget to tattoo numbers on us all too.
Of course that is the beauty of it all, what will you non-gun owners do when you are rounded up like sheep, call the polizei I presume. Don't worry, they will be close by, since they will be the ones doing the rounding up, and the only ones with the guns to worry about. Silly sheep...
The solution is obvious, people. Let's just arm all the kids, so that they can protect themselves. This would also resolve the bullying problem in short order. No one is going to pick on little Billy if they know he's got an Uzi in his lunch box. What could possibly go wrong?
Really? People like you are the biggest part of the problem. This doesn't even deserve an explaination. I guess some folks just need to drop the "PT" from the "PTSS" acronym.
No, not really. People like you have trouble understanding anything more from text than the literal meaning of the words on the page. You should turn of the TV and read more. Get to a point where you can actually make an accurate determination of when sarcasm is being used, or when a person is not actually serious.
Dude, you REALLY need a sense of humor and irony. Sheesh.
Agreed! Or, let's just arm all the teachers. When little billy is being bullied by his classmates or unjustly punished by the principal, he can wait until his gun toting teacher is distracted, grab her gun and then have free reign of the classroom!
ok seriously? How many mass shootings occur in police stations, or donut shops? None. because killers know there's opposition there. Schools are gun free zones, which is akin to the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel. Would it surprise any of you that what's being proposed is actually Diane Feinstein standing on the graves of children to further her own agenda? She's after assault weapons using Sandy Hook as a "see what I mean" situation that actually (wait for it) NEVER INVOLVED an assault rifle!!!! That's right, he never used it. It was left behind and he used pistols!!!! You're being lied to and manipulated into a frenzy to get this false sense of security... ban the guns and everyone is safe. Well guess what, if they ban guns, you're less safe than you were before. With guns banned, the bad guys have carte blanche on you because you have NO MEANS OF PROTECTION against them. The police can't do it. They don't PREVENT crime, they show up AFTER THE CRIME HAS OCCURRED!!!
Wake up fools. This author wrote this beautifully. The message: don't do stupid things to create an ILLUSION of security, CREATE SECURITY!
No one wants to ban all guns. Stop with the paranoia. Also, these shooting frenzies are being carried out by individuals on suicide missions. Arming teachers will do nothing to deter them. They want to die.
Acutally there was a recent incident in the northeast where someone did disarm a police officer in the police station and shot several officers before being killed, so YES, there are people out there that are that stupid.
He had 2 AR15s and 2 handguns that he stole from his mother. he only took one AR15 into school or thats the report I read
Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome? Not so. May seem strange of what is happening right now. Sure there is a lot of over reaction, but wasn't over reaction that we shut down airports after 9/11? Most of the over reaction is to reassure the public that the schools are safe and no copy cats are going to try to top kill count of some other nut case. You cannot say It hasn't happened! Given some broad free PR that the press so lovingly give to these events, it often inspires others to follow. which is why you have such "Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome". Simply, the public is made up of humans. One of the traits of human is fear and is reacting to its fear. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Damn dude you're a smart one! Read a book and get off the internet.
"Most of the over reaction is to reassure the public that the schools are safe and no copy cats are going to try to top kill count of some other nut case."
Yes but the whole point of this column is that it accomplishes the exact opposite. It doesn't "reassure" anybody, it merely confirms their fear that there are threats everywhere and we're living in a constant state of siege. Administrators and policy makers shouldn't be pandering to fear and responding to demands to "do something, ANYTHING" even if it doesn't work, they should be talking sense into people and reminding them of how incredibly unlikely these events are.
"You cannot say It hasn't happened!"
Yes, I can. Give me an example of a "copycat crime" of this kind. Name just one high-profile mass shooting that was immediately followed by another one. Just one. I dare you.
Hello,last year alone, town called Aurora 12 dead, Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon 2 dead (Lucky only that many), Newtown 26 dead, want to go back further??? How bout the Columbine high school?? Aren't law enforcement still stopping individuals attempting to top that kill? Sadly, it happens! Last note-most of last yeas killings, no one really understands why!
I didn't ask for a list of mass shootings over a span of several years. I asked for one that was immediately followed by another one. Y'know, a copycat crime, just like you said. Do you even know what means?
Dear Lenore Skenazy:
I appreciate what you are trying to do with this article. But indirectly labeling American citizens as stupid (for trying to be safe) a mere four weeks after one of the most horrendous tragedies in our recent history is disgraceful. It's also condescending to Americans. You fail to see that most Americans already understand the stupidity of many of our post-trauma laws (like how water bottles on airplanes are somehow more dangerous than the stabbing potential of ballpoint pens). An opinion piece highlighting stupid laws may be humorous, but it is not real insightful. Your article, however, doesn't just stop at laughing at laws. You cruelly dare to highlight the stupidity of people. Of Americans. Is that really what we need when tragedy strikes, the nerve to label our own citizens as stupid? You've had the audacity and calloused heart to demoralize good-faith efforts to come up with solutions. Now, can you please spend your own efforts coming up with solutions rather than mocking good people in the national media?
I agree with you. what happened is beyond comprehension and taking on action is reprehensible. I bet those parents at Newtown would have undertaken any safety measure necessary to have kept their children safe no matter how stupid or trivial they seem to callous people who love their guns. There is no easy solution but to stick your head in the sand and do nothing is no solution either.
amen curtis, amen
For what it's worth
I like the "no piggyback" rule at daycares
Me too!. Where I work we have a badge security system and you must swipe your badge to get in. There is a sign posted that nobody is allowed to hold the door for anyone. Everyone must use their badge to get in and the door must be close for the next individual to enter with their badge. Kinda of a PITA but it's for safety reasons. We've already had jealous exes here, threatening their other half so I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Agree 100%. The security system has little use if all you need to do is wait for someone else to use it.
It's not worth anything, because that is a dumb policy. And now you're dumb for liking it.
If it's a dumb policy please tell us why it's so dumb? You seem to know more than all since we are so "dumb", so please, enlighten us.
I agree with most of the points the author is making, except I don't see anything wrong with the school that is locking their doors. What's so stupid about that?
The problem is the next time there is a fire you will have dead teachers and children who could not get out.
You do realize that there are doors that only lock from one side, right? Back at my high school every door but the front entrance was locked during school, you could leave through any door but could not get back in.
What's next? Is someone going to trample the 2nd amendment and try to take guns away for law abiding citizens?
... oh, wait ...
Shouldn't someone let Piers Morgan know that he is suffering from PTSS??? I was fully aware of his "stupidity" regarding this topic just not sure he knows.
"derpty doo I wants ma boom stiks ma"
Tell me, where in the 2nd Amendment does it say you have the right to own or possess guns?
It says you can "bear arms". The government illegalizing all guns doesn't impede your 2nd amendments rights in any way, shape, or form. You can still bear arms, just not the kind YOU want. Which is what this is really all about.
Human greed and selfishness. GET OVER YOURSELF.
#Protect CHILDREN not guns
you're right! it doesn't say possess guns.
Honestly i think either the person who wrote that was a hunter and thought that being able to keep the appendages of your kill was a right. If i want to kill a bear and display its arms on my wall i am allowed to!
Or maybe he was a bad speller and a little Jersey Shore-ish, wearing tank tops is our god given right!
The 2nd amendment is obsolete due to the fact we cant have the weapons like tanks, fighter jets or battleships. those are the weapons one would face in taking on a tyrannical government. It also doesn't say anything about this right having anything to do with personal protection
The rebels in Syria seem to being doing pretty well against those larger weapons
so is the first amendment obsolete because you aren't allowed to shout fire in a theater?
Look, they don't want to take away your guns (most of them don't at least), most of the ideas on the table really aren't that torturous. They just take away assault rifles and high capacity mags (I doubt you actually own an assault rifle) and they make background checks stricter (not a problem if you're a law abiding citizen). Plus it's really not that likely that any of this legislation will actually pass. AND there's only so much an executive order can do so you're safe. I really don't care if this stuff passes or not.
Agreed with the author.
The world and people are unpredictable, the potential for trauma is everywhere. We wouldn't be able to function if we allowed ourselves to be acutely aware of the danger that exists everywhere. Yes, its good to try, but its foolish to think tragedies like sandy hook or aurora are preventable. Next time you get in your car, just remember all the drivers you pass who are texting, high, drunk, enraged, hallucinating, vision and hearing impaired, unlicensed, newly licensed, very elderly, distracted or tired. Then consider all the potholes, potential for tires to fly off a passing vehicle, potential for trees to collapse in the road, deer to jump out, oil slicks, undetected and unrepaired life threatening car problems. Oh and for another driver to have a heart attack or stroke while driving. Yet, you drive everyday and do your best not to think about this reality because well, you have to drive. Believing you are safe and in control is an illusion that comforts, not reality.
In the wake of the terror attacks of 2001SEP11, we are suffering from a very unAmerican malady: Post-Traumatic Cultural Decay Syndrome.
Osama bin Laden is laughing from the grave.
Doubt it. He's dead and just a decomposed corpse. No laughing for him.
YUP – An overreaction that has gone on for a decade.
The whole point of a Terrorist act is to Terrorize, so yep Bin Laden won. The best analogy I can think of is the old saying " Running around like a chicken with it's head cut off "
911 was a set up by Cheney and the Neo Cons. They killed their own citizens so they could ram through the Patriot Act and steal everyone's rights, grab billions in defense contracts and attack other countries for more unjustified profit. That they are mass murderers, liars and thieves that made the world a much worse place means nothing to them. They only care about taking away your rights and making profit.
Now the Neo Cons are trying as hard as they can to steal your collective bargaining rights, defund education, export jobs to slave wage countries, pollute with impunity, deny basic social programs to those that need them, return US society to an obscene level of cost for health care and above all make sure they don't have to pay any tax.
This is a great article. Its nice to see someone say something with some common sense.. and to see the anger that such common sense evokes is pretty telling about our society. I feel she gives too much credit to many of the people that have trotted out their various "plans" for dealing with this, though. Many are just exploiting Sandy Hook to promote whatever agenda they've been trying to promote for years.
Though, of course, she is completely correct in the popular reaction that is happening. After something like this Americans run around like a bunch of panicky idiots with the media kicking them along when things start to die down. If enough people had the nerve to ask "what good will this do?" and listen closely and critically to the answer, America would be a better place.
With the United States, it is always TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE!
Security measures address risks outside of shootings like the tragedy in CT. It's reasonable to have people sign in when they are entering a building full of children. Custody disputes, domestic disputes, etc. all can spill into a school. Children can be assaulted inside a school building. There's nothing wrong with maintaining a record of who is inside a school building. Could someone produce a fake ID and then assault a child in the bathroom? They might. They might not. What's the harm in implementing some basic policies?
The idea of tracking who has come in and out of the building that isn't "normally" there is a great idea. But simply keeping a log of names is not enough. First you need to have lists of AUTHORIZED visitors. For example, for my child, the only person allowed to pick her up is myself, my wife or a 3rd pre-designated person. This gets you a list of all authorized visitors. When a visitor arrives, it is logged for timeline purposes, but also validated against the list of AUTHORIZED visitors. Then the person is also individually verified. It has to be more than just "let me see your ID". Is there any reason schools couldn't have some access to look up visitors in the Police Departments database or the database that would hold all drivers license and general identification card holders (this would also be the same concept for voting laws if so desired). That completes the circle of authorizing and authenticating visitors. You need to be on the list and you need to be who you say you are and the schools need the tools to perform this process.
She's absolutely right. Folks, deer kill more Americans per year that mass shootings and terrorism combined. People scared or worried about either are being emotional and not intelligent.
Politicians and special interest groups are fully ready to take advantage of your emotions to further their agendas. Bush did it after 9/11. People died, money was wasted, and we lost rights as a result. Obama is doing it after newtown. We will mousse rights again.
Instead of sending our helpless children to school to face the next shooter, require all to be schooled at home, teachers will broadcast the daily lesson, children can participate, learn and remove the possibility of these mass shootings. Kids will no longer be picked on between classes, all will be free to learn in a safe, bully free environment.
There are a number of bad ways to solve the problem. Arm teachers – so if an angry group of students turn on a teacher, then they have a gun added in to it. Never happens.
As to the 1 in a million chance, lets look at the math – how many schools are there in the US? how many days have gone by between school shootings? sorry, I didn't look it up, but would seem to me to be approaching the number.
Right, let's cut down on pretty much all the socialization kids have these days, take out the benefits of in-person teaching (body language, ability to handle issues as they crop up), and somehow get these lessons to students who can't afford the equipment.
Sarcasm. It is a powerful tool.
However, that being said, if our goal is to make all children safe, then is their safety more important than their social skills? Just to allow them to be social, we put them in harms way? We should give these items to all kids, all would have internet access to the school, the same school supplied computers, the same opportunity to take the class from home. No group of kids would get shot again, no more school shootings, isn't that what we are hoping for???
Actually cyber/virtual classrooms have been on the rise and are proving effective. They can also be more cost effective than adding more and more brick and mortar buildings, athletic fields, etc... The claimed social defficiency credited to home school is exaggerated, and most virtual classroom programs have area gatherings at Zoos, museums, etc... Additionally, virtual schooling allows far more flexibility in schedule, and in some perspectives is more realistic to the world we live in today than what occurs in brick and mortar schools.
Tom: I wasn't sarcastically disagreeing with you, I was sarcastically agreeing.
Jeb: The true benefits of virtual school are flexibility and integration of digital media, which are both possible with a real school, with a better adjusted budget and more liberal planning (not: not politically liberal necessarily). I manage a class with a virtual school in addition to my "physical" teaching obligations and my judgment of the effectiveness is still suspended, as should everyone's, as there are no reliable longitudinal studies due to the relatively recent surge in virtual schooling. Many of my students live in disadvantageous situations, most often that their local schools are terrible, and the virtual academy provides them an easy way to access better education. Nevertheless, there are always going to be disadvantages, and studies have shown (as studies can show anything) that the physical, or at least live, presence of a teacher is necessary for advanced topics that might cause students and parents alike to stumble.
Roman – kudos on your commitment to education. I simply disagree. With the newer systems available children can and do have direct interaction with certified teachers via live webex, skype, etc... In fact they can have direct one-on-one without fear of asking questions in classrooms. No different than the working world using web conferencing, etc... to solve complex issues. IMO you over estimate the value of socialization that occurs in brick and mortar schools. Far more occurs outside the school, and quite honestly the initial purpose of (public) schools was for education, not socialization. As a parent I enjoy the ability to monitor social interactions (not in an intrusive overbearing manner). When parents simply send their kids off to school each day, how much input does a parent truly have in their child's social development?
Jeb: Intriguing, I feel like I'm on the verge of actually agreeing. Part of me suspects that my objection to solely-virtual schooling is largely due to two things: 1) I personally enjoy being in a classroom and experiencing live interactions with various students all at once, and 2) I fear that making schools all virtual will diminish the already small demand for new teachers. Neither of those reasons is "for the students," so I hesitate to cast them as valid, though them trouble me nevertheless.
I don't consider our online curriculum as reliable as if I could control the flow of a physical classroom - the materials, sights (and sites), discussion, etc. Being unable to prevent a student from walking away, or having potential technological errors deprive students of portions of a lesson, are both things that bother me. Technology is very fickle, and the technology used by my virtual school is well-known for being incredibly unreliable at times, but that's neither here nor there - it's just a poorer choice in technology.
(I'm going on, so I'll trim my response down to two more points:)
I'm not a parent, but I do have a sister with a considerable age gap below me (14 years), so I have had the privilege of watching her grow. In that respect, I definitely understand the concept of wanting to know what interactions a student is having. It seemed that she was falling under several potentially harmful influences at school and that bothered me greatly. She has, so far, turned out fantastically, but many of her friends haven't. I owe her resilience to my father and stepmother, who are vigilantly watching over her. I'm not really sure if I agree or disagree with you such as this, as parents have the power to offset negativity and enhance positives, but it's also not really a pro for sending kids to school so much as a chink in the "dangerous waters" armor.
Lastly, schools were formed to educate, this is true, but they served another purpose to go along with that: getting the kids out of the house so the parents could get to work without them in their hair. Famously, we'd bring them home for important times (spring and summer breaks are vestigial traditions of this), but ultimately, their being at school kept them busy and out of the way. This is why, up until the Great Depression, it was common for males to finish schooling at 8th grade, at which point they were "competent" enough to help in the field work. Females often went on to HS as a better education was considered useful for raising children.
Yeah, because isolating our kids from human interaction is the healthy way to go. I'm sure that most people including myself don't want a new generation of those who are socially inept, that would just go on to make people who are even less experienced at handling situations such as school shootings as they are today. There is a reason circular logic is called circular logic, because it doesn't achieve anything.
Just because a child is home schooled, doesn't mean they would be socially inept. Most parents know other parents with children. Children can learn social skills with out having to be hearded into a group at a school. Virtual learning poses a solution to bullying, which will only get worse, and a solution to parents who are afraid for their childrens safety. Being a new parent myself, I completely understand the fear that many American parents are feeling. I agree with others who say this author is just cruel and is basically calling Americans in fear, stupid. My daughter is a miracle to me. A baby I was told I could never produce on my own. I did it, and now I would do anything and everything to protect her. To lose her would essentially be the end of my world. That is how much I love her. It has nothing to do with paranoia, or the media stirring emotions. It is human instinct to protect your offspring. Yes, some of these security messures don't make much sense, but how does that give someone the right to put them down when your child isn't attending the school that made these rules? The internet and media are wonderful inventions, but also the downfall of our society. With internet comes many social outlets (which, by the way, also promote non-physical social interaction just like virtual classrooms, but I don't see anyone wanting to ban Facebook or Twitter) that have been the fuel of bullying (that I didn't see in my days of school), and then you have the media that just fuels fires and is often the source of rumors and misleading information. Their main purpose is to stir controversey. So to all you people who think America is stupid for being afraid, and think virtual classrooms, and tighter gun laws are not a solution, tell me, what is the solution? Because the reality is, schools are no longer safe, public settings are no longer safe, and our kids are being bullied to death. Either at the hands of the bully or by taking their own lives. Times have deffinately changed, and not for the better. It requires a solution before societ breaks down completely and you have anarchy.
The absolute worst thing you can do is allow fear to drive you into your home and stop interacting with the outside world. The internet has almost completely destroyed peoples ability to interact with thier fellow man. Civility is almost non existant and I blame the internets anonymous consequence free environment for that. The best thing for kids is to interact with other kids. People think they can do and say anything these days because of the internet. Just look at the posts just on this article. Most of you would never make the kind of comments you are making to someones face
So my wife would have to abandon her career then.... um, no. We can't go back to life like it was in the 50's regardless of how appealing that may be for some. Most of the families I know require both parents to be working full time just to pay the bills.
Well I suppose it comes down to planning and priorities. You can act like it's retro to have one parent stay home and raise the kids, but that scenario often creates a more stable environment for kids then one where both parents are constantly on the go, stressed and torn between parenting and work. Sure, it takes sacrifices – you might not be able to live in a huge home or drive a fancy car or whatever, but it is possible. It comes down to what's most important. For me, having a parent in the home is very important. But that's just what works for my wife and I.
Jeb: Sadly, the economy has long-since adapted to a 2 income household and prices are based on the assumption that both parents will be working. This can be extremely taxing on a single person, so I can't imagine how it'd be to support an entire family on a single income.
My step son decided he wanted to be cyber schooled his senior year we were against it so he moved to his fathers house. there he used 2 computers one to do his classwork with the other to cheat with by looking up answers on test etc etc. this is why I'm against this type of schooling
Schools and businesses need to take some measure of showing who they are allowing in and out of their facility due to liability and law suits. It sounds silly and most of they time the methods do not work but it has to be proved steps were taken.
I work in a bank. I was robbed in an early morning opening robbery. The suspect came behind me as I walked in and grabbed the door as it was closing. Maybe if I had closed the door as soon as I walked in that wouldn't have happened. So I more than understand closing the door especially if a code is used. Those codes match to the children who are signed out. If a child has been signed out but the time he or she was signed out does not match when the code was entered then the school is held liable if the child is missing or when home with someone else.
Parents are aware of policy (or should be) the moment they enroll their child in school. If they don't like the policy they can take it up with the school. It's not your problem to worry about the policy and say whether it's stupid or not.
Maybe stupid people have forced schools and businesses to go to these policies because they are left with no other choice?
Think before you write.
This shooting is such a sore spot that it's difficult to really encompass the range of emotions that people feel in this type of tongue in cheek article. Obviously there are some flaws in this opinion article when it comes to "piggy-backing", sure obviously you wouldn't slam the door in the face of someone with a newborn, but holding the door open for the guy with a AK47 in his briefcase seems pretty sound. Leaving the door wide open as you walk into a school, daycare, etc is a bad idea, and even if you know the person coming behind you it might be safer to close the door anyway. Typically what you hear from neighbors of these killers are, "he was a quiet guy and kept to himself", nothing is usually given away that points out, stark raving lunatic with predilection to killing innocent people, until they start pulling the trigger and people get amazing 20/20 hindsight.
Can we ignore the partisan vitriol for just a moment and comment on what is really disturbing about this article: how poorly it is written. Ms. Skenazy, thank you for denouncing these reactionary measures for what they are, meaningless drills meant to recapture order for those of us incapable of handling the chaos of reality. However, I would caution you against assuming that a colloquial tone gives you the right to riddle your writing with cliches. I do not wish to act as a frumpy gramarian – and therefore am always willing to overlook the occasional grammatical errors that inevitably escape an editor's watch. The issue here is not a misplaced colon or comma, which is understandable within reason, but a standard of writing that is so poor that it should not be published in the first place. This article rants against "stupidity" and heralds a higher standard to which we should hold ourselves. Perhaps we should begin with our news sources.
Bitter much? lol
So you couldn't refute what was actually said in the article, so you had to attack the grammar used? Typical. The meaning of the article was conveyed.
People don't use logic when it comes to kids. It's emotionally driven. Which is why Dear Leader is surrounding himself with kids that no doubt wrote letters to him saying "guns are bad". Will there be any kids there that said, My teacher should have a gun to protect me and my friends? No. Because it doesn't fit Obama and the liberal ideology of disarming Americans.
We don't need sign in sheets, or an 80 year old retiree manning the door. Neither of those do any good. I've run into a school to drop of my kids lunch that was left in the car and forgot to disarm before I went in and got passed the magic No Gun line. No layer of defense is going to prevent a crime from happening unless the layer is someone at the point of contact with an active shooter.
That's frumpy grammarian to you, formerUSteacher. One assumes that you did not teach spelling.
Remarks critical of the author's style and grammar aside, I find her outlook cynically appealing. As a parent and a teacher, I'm also taken aback at the ridiculous knee-jerk reactions that certain schools put into place in the name of security theater. I'd rather be safe, than just feel safe by having ridiculous rules applied to me by well-intentioned but misdirected efforts of school administrators posing as amateur security consultants. My students and I are not safer simply because names and drivers' licenses are taken at the school doorstep.
Do I have a solution to the problem? No, and I don't claim to have one, either. But I'm smart enough to realize that a lot of what's being done in the name of a solution isn't actually such, either - it's theater.
I have two friends who are teachers in elementary schools and they complain now that they do not have time to go to the bathroom let alone attempt to enforce all the different non-teaching regulations imposed on them before this event. They dread the new 'ideas' they will be imposed on them and are thinking about dropping out of the profession because they are getting away from teaching and giving to the children, now they are parenting, parking lot monitoring, security, and even having to doctor children who have medical and mental issues at the expense of the rest of the children.
Not to mention feeding the kids breakfast AND lunch, because lord knows, we can't expect parents to actually feed their own kids.
The schools in my area have to buzz you in at the door. In the office, they have a camera on the door. They don't have to buzz you in. Once inside the building, you have to go to the main office and sign in. This consists of actually signing in on a paper, and then you get a visitors pass – you are (or will be) in the system via your drivers license. You have to produce that license and it has to match the one that is in the system previously, and they print out a sticker with your photo and a bar code and your name on it. You have to wear that sticker while you are in the building. They also make note of where you say you are going within the building. When you leave, you have to turn in your sticker and sign out on the paper.
Even if they know you at the desk, and you are only meeting with someone in the office, you need to do this.
With all the precautions, I think someone could still get into the school if they really wanted to. People thinking up these protective measures think like polite, rational people. They don't think like desperate madmen. If you were going to enter a building with the intent of killing as many as possible before YOU died, you wouldn't be terrible concerned with destroying any obstacles in the way.
My daughter is in high school, Vo Tech in the afternoon. After this tragedy she said that all classroom door are now locked. Yesterday I took her something she had forgotten; I walked in the front door (unlocked) to her classroom, locked, and waited for someone to open the door. The entire classroom is walled in with glass. Go figure. I am thankful she is a senior but if I had small children now they would be home schooled.
PTSD – and Fear Mongering
and then please to 'fix' the mental health system – which the mentally ill and their advocates have been doing since time without end ... but that is not what will happen – more pills will be made that will cause even more problems with mental health – and lied about until pharma makes their money – regardless of the cost to society.
Taking guns from the public – for further control by the government.
a government – who is now accused by many and some as actually staging and carrying out the 9-11 attacks AND the Sandy Hook crisis – (trained actors in that one) – with crisis drills going on at the same time that an actuall crisis takes place in both instances. all to take away the rights of American Citizens. And cause even more mental illness – so more pills can be sold – and more mentally ill can fill the privatized penal system ...
Makes you sick – to say the least ...
Actually, there is a very rational reason for requiring students to wear I.D. badges. It allows teachers and administrators to quickly identify students from visitors or unauthorized occupants. The benefits of such a policy, especially during a crisis, are obvious.
You are exactly correct....and it clearly goes to the point that people should be looking to experienced law enforcement and high profile security firms to revist their buildings, events and general security. Would you rely on your plumber to make recommendations on your roof? As parents we are part of the process and should look to be and Districts should realize they have custody of a priceless, irreplacable human being, each and every one of them. Doing it smart, getting expertise and thinking is all that's needed. Is it possible anymore for someone to compose a constructive recommendation or criticism without bashing the opposing views to make their case? Passed the cop parked in the Middle School parking lot this morning myself but instead of just driving by and muttering under my breath I stopped after the twins were out of the car and asked him if he felt he was prepared to act...he said...not me...but I'm the backup for the plainclothes at the door....hummm...I guess its perspective and assumption that will be our downfall, was in this piece as well.
So...if a friendly fire incident happens in one of these schools where they have armed a teacher(s)...or a child gets one of these guns...Who is liable? The teacher, the school system...who? I really don't think this has been thought through well. Do the parents have to sign a waiver or something that says the school system...and the tax payers in turn are not liable?
Liability ??? You souind more concerned about how you'll get paid if it is your kid that gets injured or killed....Suffice it to say, that if the school has done everything reasonable (special attention to reasonable, not insane or outrageous) to provide for your childs safety, you don't deserve to be "paid"...
Great satire piece. More people need to think before they make suggestions / enact regulations / enact laws to ensure that what they want to do will actually improve the situation as opposed to just costing money (think TSA), wasting time, etc. Yes, I (hopefully all of us) want our kids to be safe. But PLEASE don't do things to create the illusion of safety. And that's exactly what many of the proposals to date do – create an illusion of increased safety. And if I had what I thought was a great idea, I'd post it.
Your disparagements are disingenuous to say the least. More often than not, a set of such 'procedural' measures can help detect, if not deter an assailant. Have you heard of the interviews with Israeli security personnel while entering/leaving the country? They ask you ordinary inane questions – while getting a chance to observe your behavior.
Yes, pretty much every security measure can be laughed at, or disparaged, but its often a combination of seemingly stupid procedures that works.
And of course, as several others have pointed out – the psychological comfort in knowing some actions are being taken – isn't a bad thing either.
None of the measures listed make any sense, because if someone is coming to shoot, they will shoot their way in if confronted.
You want to make a difference? Why not try saying or doing something positive that would help to comfort and heal the grief stricken in Newton and other communities affected by gun violence. Perhaps your friends and neighbors and fellow Americans would follow and do the same and eventually we'd be alot closer to a perfect union. Sarcasim doesn't accomplish anything in times of tragedy.
Before you call people stupid you should evaluate your own intelligence.
I have no intelligence. I woke up a republican and ate a potatoe.
I completely agree. Any way that you could look at the positive elements of this? Of anything for that matter? Ugh. I HATE that CNN has given you a platform to spout off more about people that actually love their kids and want to try to protect them... There are MILLIONS of "free range" kids out there- children that are forced to fend for themselves due to underprivileged conditions, undereducated parents, or a combination of both. Perhaps you should focus your attention on helping those actually in need, rather than focus on children that are "over" parented??
She DID say something positive and helpful, you crazy lunatic. She's trying to reassure you that you're relatively safe today, you were relatively safe yesterday, and you'll be relatively safe tomorrow. Your chances of being the victim of a violent crime are extremely low, you DON'T need to demand sweeping new security measures.
But you're too paranoid and emotional to listen.
Our esteemed author is right and she's wrong. Yes, there is a huge outcry as a response to the occurences, and yes, it is a knee-jerk reaction. Yes, it will probably fade out and become a sad, historical milestone, revisited annually for a while, and then only when such situations recur.
And they will recur if we don't seize the momentum and do something about it. If people suddenly got into a tizzy about cancer, would our author be saying "Relax, it's just as horrific as it was yesterday! We can go back to hoping it never happens to us!" And it probably won't. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't seize that moment to push an agenda for good eating, exercise, and generally healthy preventative behaviors, because even a little bit helps.
And in that spirit, yes, people are flying into a frenzy, but that doesn't make the concern any less worth considering. If one in a million guns fired randomly, we'd still require the manufacturers to address that problem. We should never let ourselves fall short of what should be a never-ending search for perfection which, though we will never reach it, will always bring us to a more ideal setting. If one person in a billion dies of something that we can prevent, that's one too many.
Roman, you're either an idiot, or a liar and hypocrite. Probably a combination of all.
I shall suspend doubt for now and request an explanation.
I'm sure there's a point in your post somewhere.
tl;dr: The point is that, yes, people are overreacting, but that doesn't mean they're wrong for reacting.
No, you're STUPID. Let's face it, these school administrators stepping forward and taking steps to bring about a sense of security and comfort to parents and their kids in these trying times is a whole lot better than our gun-toting republican congress doing nothing to curb gun violence, while coming to the defense of domestic terrorists.
I agree with the columnist and I disagree with you. But unlike you, just because I disagree with you, I won't call you stupid. This should be a debate, not an argument. People should be treated with respect – even when you have the anonymity of the web.
I agree with the columnist because people who are in positions of authority and responsibility should take thoughtful and effective measures. They should not waste their time, and the time of students and parents, doing things just for the sake of doing things – things that don't make people safer. It's just silly and defies common sense.
Amen, and thank you.
Tell that to your gun-toting republicans leaders who harbor and protect domestic terrorists.
Murder is in one's heart. The only way to stop it is to change what is in the heart.
Wait. What? How is this article being stupid? "Do Something!" is not the same as "Do something -useful-." That knee jerk reaction brought us the security theater that is the TSA. All of the reactions in this article are certainly "doing something" – but in most cases are completely useless. Seriously. There is a huge difference between doing something that's actually well thought out and some idiotic knee jerk reaction like we seem to see every time something like this happens.
They're not only bringing a sense of security, they're actually doing something. Every task begins with a first step. You got to crawl before you walk. Perhaps if the Newton gunman knew that the school faculty was security sensitive and security obsessed, he might not have come onto the school premises. After all, people who run around toting guns are cowards. Just ask your republican non-lawmakers.
Actually, the TSA has been pretty helpful in confiscating weapons and other nonsense people have tried to bring on board with them.
guess you're the guilty dog barking the loudest – huh???
"No, you're STUPID."
Well now, THAT'S a really mature response :)
So you think that giving parents and children a very FALSE sense of security is the best way to address the issue???
Whatever helps you sleep better at night, I guess....
No, its not a false sense of security. Its actually called "Doing Something." I believe for too long our gun-toting congress has given us a false sense of security, while defending domestic terrorists. For example, invading and destabilizing Iraq while defending domestic gun-toting domestic terrorists in America is a false sense of security.
Wow you are an idiot.. Lets not bring actual security, but as you put it, a sense of security. To have a sense of security, and not the real thing, means you are just lieing to yourself, and worse our children.
please go put your head back under your rock.
Well, perhaps these school administrators feel a sense of obligation to act since our lawmakers don't feel such urgency or are too scared to act. Its more than a sense of security, it called actually beginning the process of doing something unlike our do-nothing gun-toting congress who are afraid of a pen and a piece of paper.
Lying, not lieing. Please spell check before posting.
I don't want "a sense of security," I want REAL SECURITY. Before any new policy is implemented, administrators should be prepared to explain to me precisely the threat it's designed to eliminate, how likely that threat is, and exactly how it will address that threat. If they can't satisfactorily answer all three questions, then the new policy is pointless and shouldn't be implemented. I don't give a rat's tuchas if it makes you "feel" safer, your feelings are not my concern and it's up to you to go and see a psychiatrist if you're so paranoid. I'm tired of policy makers pandering to people like you!
And sometimes: 'real security" means no changes at all. Sometimes, you're already secure enough and you shouldn't do anything except reassure people of that.
personally, I think all of these ideas makes sense (Except for the car keys thing).
In my old high school, they locked every single door in the building. it can only be opened with a key from the outside or from a person on the inside. Please research school security in schools before making stupid opinions on stuff that you know nothing about.
btw, PTSS stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. who are you to give talk down to people who develop such a disorder?
What you're looking for is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What she's doing is making a joke that isn't funny, but that should come as no surprise.
Your post is a perfect example.....thanks for showing all of us.
Locking all the doors will only last until a fire breaks out and a lot of people are burned or killed.
Because in today's day and age – the APPEARANCE of doing something is far more important than the actual effectiveness of that something.
You are unfortunately correct. This is how stupidity comes to rule. It doesn't matter if the action is actually logical, or makes an impact, just that you ACTED. It destroys a sense of ability to discern information and outcomes; just like treating children who bring a plastic butterknife in school the same as a child that threatens a schoolmate with a machete.
A sheriff in Louisiana offered free gun lessons to children age 8-12, sponsored by Walmart.
A woman withdrew her child from a yoga class in school, complained sunshine solutions, one of the yoga pose has Hinduism agenda. What a insane country we live in.
where are they offering gun lessons to little kids, because i heard of no such thing.
and the yoga story is just ignorance on the mother's part.
Reread the first sentence and maybe you'll know where...
See here for the story: http://news.yahoo.com/sheriff-offers-firearm-training-kids-233924397.html
See here for the Caddo Parish LA Sheriff's office that lists the program: http://www.caddosheriff.org/page.php?s=47
Here is this moron's contact info from her site, I vote everyone leave her a "friendly message" about how insensitive and cold she has been about the suffering these poor people have gone thru because of these school shootings:
To contact Lenore, please drop a line to Katie Hamblin at Foundry Media — Khamblin@foundrymedia.com — or to Lenore at Lskenazy@yahoo.com . Or use the form below.
How is it insensitive to poke fun at stupid rules?
I will drop her a line immediately to let her know how much I appreciate her common sense. READ the article again. She is not "making fun" of anyone who has suffered this (or similar) tragedy, but instead the reponse SOME communities have taken as a result.
I agree with Lenore. School Administrators and everyone else needs to be diligent. But please don't lose your common sense. Checking in car keys??? Really???
Maybe they need to check car keys at movie theaters?
You're starting to act like someone we should be locking our doors against.
The kids should pack heat as well, a 9MM in every backpack.
Let's make murder illegal...oh it already is and yet people still commit murder....so let's make guns illegal....oh wait, criminals are already breaking the law so why would they care about a gun law? Oh well, at least law-abiding citizens will be disarmed and like the TSA molestations, the citizens will have the perception of security. That is all the politicians care about anyway.
Exactly! The only thing these gun restrictions will do is inhibit our ability to defend ourselves against the criminals. They are not going to care about the law. If someone wants to perform a massacre, then they are going to find a way to get their hands on the weapons they need. They will make their own bombs, buy guns on the street or online. They will barge into a building with an assault weapon, and then the rest of us law-abiding citizens will have nothing to defend ourselves with. Hell, I'd rather the government require every person who purchases a gun undergo a psych evaluation. Not pleasant to have a shrink determine whether I have homicidal tendencies, or not, but it still beats not having the ability to defend myself. Schools restrict guns being carried by ANYONE on school grounds, so when someone does come in with a gun, the only choices people have is run, hide, or die.
It's not the law to restrict all kinds of guns, but all the semi-automatic and automatic ones that can fire 30 rounds in less than a minute. You don't need these for self-defense. You need a revolver or a shot gun for self-defense. If stores stop selling these automatic weapons and ammo, the problem will not be solved today, but will be solved eventually in the next generation or the next. People who already have these weapons will eventually run out of ammo and no place to buy them. It will be a safer country then – look at Australia and learn from them please.
A bolt action rifle can fire up to 20 rpm so what's your point? You need a revolver for home defense? Correct me if I'm wrong but most common revolvers holds up to six rounds. After six shots and the intruder is still standing, can you reload in time to get the next 6 rounds or 1 round? "If stores stop selling these automatic weapons and ammo" stores don't sell automatic weapons to anybody. Okay let's take a look at Australia and learn from them. In 2002, five years after enacting its gun ban, the Australian Bureau of Criminology acknowledged there is no correlation between gun control and the use of firearms in violent crime. The percent of murders committed with a firearm was the highest it had ever been in 2006.
Criminals will find a way to obtain a firearm, even though there is a "gun ban" and we, as citizens, must have firearms to protect ourselves from them.
Thank you A MILLION times for saying this! We are raising a generation – multiple generations, by now – to live in fear of their own shadows. This notion that we have to do every single thing we can to protect our children from the most remote possibility of harm is absurd and damaging to us as a nation and a people.
We couldn't agree with you more. We are raising our future generations to live in fear of our own shadows. Guns are not the problem, it is society..where was society when these people needed mental help. We are not saying what they did was right or justified, we are looking at the wrong cause of the situations. Guns are not the cause, mental illness is, look at all the case studies, everyone of these people have some sort of mental issue.
This is not the 1940's or 1950's....There is a need for greater security because society has changed...To fluff it off as a one in a million chance occurrence is the real stupidity and lunacy...
Well, you are probably right. It's likely more like two in a million.
No in the 1940s and 1950s people had common sense.
Congress wants less spending but doesn't want to take pay cuts. I don't think they should be making $174,000 per year.
actually slick, its called perception bias: you and all the other silly people fall prey to it, and not long after comes some silly populist rant. one in a million is probably being statistically generous.
You're right, society has changed.
Your chances of being the victim of a violent crime are lower than ever. So what are you blathering about?
I'm pretty sure it would be illegal to have every door locked due to fire codes.
Not to have them locked to outside entry. A push bar that allows the door to open from inside without a key is all that meets the fire safety requirements.
Doors open for those inside to get out, but doors are locked to those outside so they can't get in.
Locked from the outside, not the inside.
Guys calm down, just sit back and relax! Ms. Skenazy says things like this are one in a million no need for alarm!
Seriously I don't know which is funnier, how stupid this woman actually is or the fact that she is burying her head in the sand pretending there isn't a serious gun safety issue going on right now in this country. But hey, no need to take any precautions we're all being stupid according to her! Seriously I'm tired of people like her using up my air with her stupidity.
you're one of the stupid Americans shes speaking of. This is why you are opposed to this article. It may be her opinion, but it she is also treading in the waters of common sense. Seems as though you could use some swimming lessons.
Right, because its clearly stupidity when people take precautions.
Tell you what, when the next gun nut shows up and its your kids who get taken down, I'll be the first one in line to tell you toughen up and that its a one in a million thing, stop being stupid you don't need precautions.
@ Ken S.
Precautions are FINE. It's when the precautions are useless that is the issue. What exactly, does handing over car keys accomplish?
Are you safer to be around when you do not have keys in your pocket? Is anyone? Personally, I'm pretty dangerous with my door unlocker button, why, I could unlock someone's eye out!
Seriously, rational, useful precautions are good. Wasting time and money on panicky gestures is NOT good.
lets have the kids all work from laptops at home and skype teachers! This would take away any chance of kids getting in car accidents, hit by cars, kidnapped etc on their way to/home from school! when its play time they get to video chat with their friends cause its so safe! no kids will be out hurting them selves or each other on the playground – SUCCESS. Your kid wants to play outside? too bad! your kid could catch all sorts of diseases and illnesses playing in the WILD outdoors, wouldn't want that.Lets keep this precautions coming, so our sweet bundles of joy all turn into crazy, sheltered, psychopaths that wont be able to handle the real world.
I am a proud Canadian and you Americans and your ideologies make me sick.
You, need to calm down. She mentioned nothing about gun control, for or against it. She is talking about the stupid things people do because they think it will make them safer.
Lenore does make good points here. School guards should have ID scanners so they can scan to find out if it's fake or not. And what is the point of turning in keys? Maybe it was to prevent a person to go back to their car to obtain a weapon but what if that person needed to go back to get his or her video camera?
Bad points were writing about locking school doors. Schools should be locked after certain hours. And it only takes seconds to call someone to open the door after he or she is identified as a safe person (by using cameras, peep hole, etc.) to enter the school.
Ok tough guy, we get that you're butthurt over this. It's not worth all this fabricated, overblown outrage. Go soak your head and cool off.
No measures taken to keep your children are stupid...NONE...period. There is nothing such as overdoing it.
Even arming teachers who aren't qualified to handle a weapon? I win.
Millions of gun owners across the country have little to no training. In many police shoot outs, the cops hit more innocent bystanders than the bad guys do. Meanwhile, I work in a school where, of the eight teachers in my hallway, three are retired military, and one has a confirmed kill from Operation Baghdad. Meanwhile, teachers are not only educated people, but people in general, and have just as much access to gun training as any civilian. In fact, we have to do yearly mandatory professional development seminars to keep our licenses, so our incentive to take these classes is even greater than normal civilians.
I think I win. Thanks.
That's why I had my kids laminated.
I don't usually like flippant remarks here but I did get a laugh about the laminated kid!
Should've put them in a giant bubble so they have more space
That is why my children are in training to pack a Sig Sauer P229 40 cal. so they can defend the school... Because.....No measures taken to keep your children are stupid...NONE...period.
I should have realized that I should not cut and paste from an individual that made this statement. "No measures taken to keep your children are stupid...NONE...period. There is nothing such as overdoing it." I believe there should have been a "safe" after children. Besides just keeping your children...which I believe is the whole point of this conversation.
Why don't you train them on the importance of gun safety and what to do scenarios. You're children are not going to man a post to defend their school.
Nothing is too much?
Is locking children inside a building when there could potentially be a fire, or urgent access by EMTs too much?
Is taking away the keys of every adult in the building, when there is always a possibility they might need to leave immediately for some urgent matter NOT at the school, or even that they have medication IN THE CAR too much?
Is requiring teachers to be willing to get into an armed standoff as part of their job requirements too much?
Is creating an aura of fear and ignorance surrounding our children too much?
You go worry about the sky falling, and run around with your eyes to the sky Chicken Little. Those of us with common sense will keep our eyes on the here and now.
No measure to protect a child is stupid? Every measure that makes people ridicule the poorly thought through attempts to protect children are stupid.
A cheap, maybe effective thing to do -
Equipe every classroom with a couple or three spray cans of pepper spray. They should be the long reaching type, like similar to wasp spray, or bear repellent spray. need a range of 15 or 20 feet?
Excellent idea. But no one will go for it, because spraying pepper spray doesn't give you the same macho feeling as firing a gun.
Also, say that the teacher sprays the bad guy and saves the day...one parent will sue the teacher and the school because he or she got pepper spray on his or her child. #AmericaLovesToSue
We have to have different color codes to alert levels in class, purples means all restrooms closed, pink doors locked, got to remove your shoes and scan before entering the class, oh BTW come to school 2-3 hours before class.
To continue we have to stick to our second amendment and what it stands for, no banning assault weapons or any weapons people can get their hands on and NRA is GOD they will tell us what we should do to be safe...
Absolutely understand the need for school safety, but...
How about the same amount of concern for mall safety, or theater safety, or church safety? Let's address the overall problem, not specific locations!
With our society the way it is now, I think that the best we can hope for is that we're not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyone with an assault rifle and wearing protective gear could bypass all of the so-called safety measures listed in this article.
I believe that schools are under the government, with the exception of private schools.
Malls, theaters, and especially churches are not government run places. Those should provide their own security
Besides the churches have the almightly to protect them...you better hope he carries a gun
Great idea! Let's just turn every area of our lives into a prison. And let's live in constant, paralyzing fear. Because no matter how much "safety" we add, we never feel safe enough. In fact, let's all just stay in our homes, hunkered down with our guns, and not going out into this dangerous world at all, then we will be utterly and totally SAFE. If SAFETY is the most important value in life, nothing less than living in a bunker will do.
You are correct. Let's accept our fate and do nothing to change it.
I thought this piece might have something of interest in it, but it seems that it is what is stupid.
Condemning a child care facility that has security measures (door code) already in place, and then enforcing parents already use it? Of all the dastardly things! It is sad that this author is making that out to be stupid, when the door code should have been used since the day it was put in place. Why? Because it was there.
Americans do suffer from one thing: they hate being inconvenienced. Door buzzers, turning in their car keys, having to go through airport security to board a plane, etc. These are very small measures put in place for those freak rarities that occur, and the stupidity portion is that people complain that these security measures eat up their time, instead of stupid people planning their time accordingly to get through said measures. Putting in that door code at your daycare I guess just really throws off some schedules.
Jade do you think that an armed killer is going to wait for you to close the door on him? Of course not. He will wait for you to open the door and then enter. You and your false sense of security be damned! The idea that door codes provide you and your children security against an armed killer is so ridiculous as to be silly.
Turning in your car keys prevents...what? Leaving early?
It is amazing how much people want to be appeased, except when it inconveniences them. Something bad happened, so do something so it seems like you're trying to prevent it. Ok.. we'll do this. No, this is wrong. But shame on them for not doing something.
"Something bad happened, so do something so it seems like you're trying to prevent it." The point is let's take some preventative measures with some common sense behind it. That is the point of this article.
And the reason for turning in the car keys? Because a terrorist will have to call a cab to get away? I mean really, I'm all about safety, but the point of the article was to point out that some of the policies have no logical sense to them.
i believe they had door codes on the school in Connecticut. I thought I read that that shooter just shot his way through the door.
I'm not against door codes, nor am I against metal detectors in some of these places. But I think if I see a parent I know behind me in line, there's no need for me to slam the door in his or her face, particularly if I've seen him enter on his own before.
Please enlighten me – how does reliquishing my car keys keep anyone safer? I'd say it increases the chances that someone will steal my car without having to mug me. Seriously – how many mass murders were committed with car keys and how will I be safer if I give my keys to you?
I can guess about 2 different potential rationales:
1) Surrendering Car Keys would deter the attacker if he knew he couldn't just run out to his car and make his get-away.
2) There was concern about Enraged Super-competative Parent Syndrome and if the 3rd Wise Man kid stole the 2nd Chrismas Tree kid's lines that one parent might ru out to the car to settle matters with a weapon locked in it.
come on kids don't steal lines
So, a potential shooter will simply keep a spare car key in his other pocket. I guess they didn't think that far.
Yeah lady, having school doors locked is SOOO stupid? Who are you?
Having school doors locked is not stupid. Locking them so that only one person is able to unlock them is stupid. What if that one person is taken ill, or in the bathroom when the EMTs need urgent access, or there is a fire and no one can get out the fire exits?
Wouldn't that mean that a shooter would just have to gain access once – say as a parent, or volunteer – and then they would be locked in with all their victims. Kind of like shooting fish in a barrel....
You couldn't be more far from the truth about the daycare scenario. In our daycare, you need a fingerprint to get into the building. It's a busy school and if I don't recognize the parent, I let the door shut behind me. I've actually had a scenario where there person behind me was a contractor and tried to come in behind me; I stopped him and asked him politely if I could help me find someone. He stated the Director and their name and I asked them to stay in the lobby. I walked 20 feet and got the Director and she let them in.
My kids safety is way more important some random parents feelings. If they want to get in the building, use the fingerprint system, thats why it's there.
Your statement is way off base and in tyical journalist fashion, is taken out of context. Did you read the letter from teh Director? I doubt it. It's about common sense. Maybe you should find some.
So you admit to bypassing the fingerprint security measures by letting others tailgate? What if the parents are recently divorced and the *other* parent shows up to abduct the kid? Pot, meet kettle.
You can't read!
If that contractor had been a terrorist, he would have simple shot you dead on the spot and procceded into the daycare.The point of the article is that there needs to be MEANINGFUL solutions. Locked doors, while a positive policy, is not the safety net you think it is.
Well give yourself a pat on the back for preventing that dangerous contractor from coming in.
You perceived a threat, but in reality that person you were afraid of actually belonged there. And yet, you think this proves that Lenore is wrong. You really don't get it, do you?
Chris, you missed the entire point of the article. You also clearly didn't read Lenore's bio or even her comments that she gathered these examples from reader comments on her blog. She's heavily researched child safety vs. paranoia and even written a book about it. The point is that your belief that having your FINGERPRINT SCANNED is a reasonable and necessary protection for our child is crazy. We didn't have that stuff when I was growing up, and crime rates (including against children) were far higher then than they are now. And, since I know this will be your next comment, no, crazy crimes involving people coming into schools and harming kids are not on the rise, Sandy Hook excepted, and your fingerprint and door slamming policy would have done nothing to stop that killer. Furthermore, your sense of how much danger your child in is insane. The reason we have so much fear is that we have a 24-hour media that loves news stories about victims and pumps up the fear levels. Then everybody talks about it and everybody jumps on the bandwagon to install "safety" measures, and we start to feel even more scared because, well, if we need such strong safety measures, things must be really bad, right? Our kids are going to grow up to be nutcases if we don't get a grip and stop catastrophising all the time.
IIsn't this the same knee jerk stupidity that we exhibited after the attacks on the World Trade Center? Suddenly it wasn't people's rights that mattered, it was making sure "we" had control over those same folks we used to pass on the street and smile at. So what did we get for it? – 4 more years of Bush and the lingering effects of the Patriot Act, the single biggest piece of crap legislation ever to come out of Congress.
Well said. A pound of prevention for an ounce of cure.
I agree! The problem is that such idiotic legislation is done quickly in total reaction to an event, rather than taking the time to analyze the real issues and implement measures designed to enhance safety in a meaningful way without trampling on the civil rights of American citizens. While some things need to be done right away – for example, my son's after-school care program didn't have a window or peephole in the door so they could not see who they were opening the door to, so they used a different door until they could put a window in the door – major changes need to be enacted with some perspective. and due consideration for potential undesired effects.
THE ONLY GOAL OF AN NRA MEMBER IS TO MAKE SURE THAT CHILDREN DIE. THAT'S IT.
Really? Cause I am a lifelong member of the NRA. I also teach martials arts.... To kids. Just so happens one of my kids used what I have taught them to save themselves from a kidnapping. Yup, sounds like I want all kids dead doesn't it?
You are an idiot.
Um, no? Seek help. Seriously
Seriously? Wow. Thanks for making the argument that the NRA is necessary.
Guns don't kill people. People with guns kill people.
and people with poison, knives, fists, blunt objects....even cars.
Should we take away your car because you might kill someone in an accident? Should we cut off your hands because you might get in a fight with someone and kill them?
Cause and Effect are just fine, but you have to find the right cause to match. Otherwise it won't work.
THE ONLY GOAL YOUR STATEMENT STATES IS THAT YOU'RE A MORON. THAT'S IT
Similar to the trauma many felt by 9/11. They never made it to 9/12, Take Dennis Miller, i.e. Once astute, now simpploy out of his mind for the rest of eternity.
Who's Dennis Miller?
And what a shame that was. I found I could no longer listen to Dennis Miller, as he had suddenly become paranoid about everything.
Get a boyfriend.
Get some common sense
Its about the perception of safety, not actually being safe. People have always been that way.
Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome is precisely what's happened to this country. It has incapacitated the brain of the majority of people, and made it impossible to have a rational conversation that isn't full of emotional arguments, logical fallacies, and idiotic accusations. I hope people get over it soon, because it has made this country a horrible place to be in.
All of these practices are put into place with the recommendation of local police. There is a reason behind each of them so whether you agree with it or not, you probably should have done 5 minutes of research.
Really? What's the rationale for "leave your car keys"? So you and yours can get shot to death in the parking lot when you find yourself unable to flee from the gunman who enters the school?
Sometimes the police have stupid reasons for what they do and for what they recommend.
No one denies there is a reason. That doesn't validate implementing patently dumb ideas. It isn't enough to do something....it also needs to be done well.
So please tell us what the "police approval" was for turning in your car keys – why ?
we will be waiting right here.
nevadagirl – wait, ALL of these things were done upon police recommendation? Because... you researched this? Every single example? As you snidely commented Lenore should have done? Come on. And even if they were... the police are under pressure too to protect everyone, and if you give people enough time to worry about every possible scenario, no matter how unlikely, they will come up with bizarre and useless ways to fight the imaginary dangers. We as a society have become way too fearful and paranoid.
I have a 3 yr. old in a childcare center and can't find any complaint with saying parents shouldn't be entering THEIR security code and then holding the door open for others to come in. Honestly by that rationale...why even have a locked door in the first place? It may seem like a fine line if you actually know someone, but then if everyone knows it's "the rule" across the board, you don't have to explain yourself. Sorry but I'd rather enter my own code than have a parent in our school who opens the door to where my 3 yr. old is for anyone...even me. The sign announces it's a building full of toddlers, not the grocery store.
Why do they even have to get in the building? If someone really wanted to do something terrible, they could just take shots at the windows or playground. You're being paranoid, your kid will grow up with your paranoia and that's just not right.
Or they could just go to the library and shoot people there. Or the mall. Or the supermarket. Or a subway station.
PTSS - a great name for it all. So the terrorists won then, Americans lose. Because the main objective of any terror act is to spread terror. And, as we all can see, Americans are shaken to the core. Taliban rejoice!
what do you expect from a system that depends on the ILLUSION of control rather than actual control?
Back when I was in high school circa 2006 about 20 miles north of Columbine HS, trench coats were still outlawed, even when the weather made them a wise choice. Despite the fact that the "trench coat mafia" thing had been declared BS many years before. You could waltz right in any one of the many unlocked doors, but god help you if you were dressed appropriately for a snow storm. The reaction was even more harsh if you dared to wear a tank top in 90 degree weather. The campus supervisors were the fashion police rather than any sort of security detail.
This article is full of the sorts of objections you might come up with to security measures if you thought about them for a few seconds with the goal of finding fault, but fortunately we have people protecting schools who are giving attention to the bigger picture.
You may not be able to control the behavior of someone determined to enter a school with a gun, but you can come up with policies for the REST of the people to follow that make someone with bad intentions stick out like a sore thumb, and that early identification and other "speed bumps" can wind up saving lives by shrinking the window where a disturbed individual can do damage or deterring them from choosing a given location as a target in favor of a different location.
The point, for example, of not holding the door open for parents at a nursery school isn't to treat them like suspects, it's so people patrolling the halls won't be able to say, "That's probably a parent who came in through the side door" when they see someone walking around in the halls if they no longer have the expectation that parents do that, and means an intruder can't walk around the building for an unlimited amount of time without being confronted. If you're a disturbed individual planning something (and these people tend to be planners), you'll note the security measures in place at such a school and be more likely to consider someplace else.
I know that's a bleak interpretation of things, but I do think that's what security personnel are working with.
Requiring a sign-in at the office means I can ask any adult wandering around without a visitor badge, "May I help you?" When they hem and haw I can direct them to go to the office to state their reason for being in the school. Nothing to do with fake IDs, more about intention. Th kids are rquired to have ID so that when a child has a medical issue such as fainting or a siezure the parents are quickly contacted. The writer appears to have done no research.
Yes you may ask them but if they are an armed killer they probably don't care much for your question and just shoot you in the head!
Because.... their teachers won't recognize them? Or, if it's a big school like a high school, other students won't be able to ID them? Man, I'm surprised more of us who had incidents in school didn't DIE without these ID badges. Totally stupid.
Did you read the article? The coded entry has nothing to do with "roaming the halls." There was nothing in there saying that that was ever permitted. If it is permitted, then someone observed roaming the halls who "piggybacked" in will look identical to a someone who entered via his/her door code; both will be treated as being properly where s/he is. If it is not permitted, then it will be the person's very act of roaming the halls that will make him/her suspect, not whether s/he "piggybacked" through the coded door or entered his/her own code number.
The bigger picture? The dumber picture, it seems to me.
Read what I wrote carefully.
I think the point is that we have to stop assuming we are living in a bleak scenario. We have to stop the siege mentality. Sandy Hook was undeniably awful, but it is so rare, your child has a greater chance of being hit by lightning than having something like that happen. Yet we all react as if it were happening or likely to happen at OUR school or preschool or day care. What we don't realize is that when you treat everyone as a potential murderer, it creates fear and distrust, which erode community. And a strong community is one of the strongest ways to provide safety. The chances of someone who is not a parent "piggy-backing" with other parents and nobody noticing, and then that person somehow doing something harmful is incredibly unlikely. We have to stop being so fearful. We are turning our schools into prisons and it is not protecting our kids, just making us crazy and paranoid. The point of this post is: relax. It's not so bad. Go on with life and keep common sense.
The school where my wife teaches now requires all classroom doors to remain locked at all times, and teachers are not allowed to let any students in after the final bell. The only issue being that this includes students that the teachers give a pass to use the restroom, go to the office for supplies, TA's who go make copies etc. They wouldn't need to keep the doors locked 24/7 if the teachers could lock the doors from the inside (you know like 99.9% of us can do at home). The kids that are out after the bell have to be escorted to their classroom and let in using the universal key that they have. This takes up so much of the "monitors" time that they are likely going to have to have more monitors in the near future. I'm guessing that installing locks that can be secured from the inside and outside would be a heck of a lot cheaper and more useful that hiring more campus "monitors". I guess it just amounts to more PTSS!
NOt to mention the fact that the student misses more of the lesson by having to wait around for an escort. How ridiculous.
Actually, the daycare scenario you mentioned seems legit. you live in NYC. If you don't know the person coming into your building behind you (assuming you live in a building with security codes) are you just going to let them come in (think Seinfeld episode)? They won't always be carrying a child to drop off.
As for the car keys, most schools where I am from require that you give them your car keys when visiting. It is more of a CYA thing.
I would guess that all of the info your readers sent in has been going on for some time, but they are just now deciding to take note. parents are quite uninvolved when it comes to their children's schooling nowadays.
Where are you from with the car keys thing? What a ridiculous thing to do. What does this accomplish? Are car keys considered a deadly weapon? What if there is an imminent disaster that requires rapid evacuation? This policy could prevent people from escaping who otherwise might have. Also, with the proliferation of keyless entry and starting of vehicles, many parents can truthfully say they don't have any keys. Given that, how does the school know who is telling the truth and who is lying on that count? I live in a rural area (and drive a crappy car), and I leave my keys in the ignition everywhere I go. Do I have to go back to my car and get them when I am stopped at the door to the xmas concert? This is just silly.
While I don't have school-age children, nor am I familiar with any local school security measures, I can guess at the genesis of the "Collect Car Keys at the School Office" policy – even if it is poorly considered for a Chrismas Pagaent:
Schools often have a Visitor Sign-In policy (a wise security precaution in general). Schools also have a large number of Exit Doors which all must allow unlimited Exit (Barge Bar or One-way Lock or...) Schools also want to confirm that any and all Visitors who Enter the School also Exit the School – taking only what or Whom they are Authorized to take with them. But, given the plethora of Exits, what ensures the Visitor will return to the Office to Sign-Out ?? Collecting something of value to the Visitor is the best surity. Car Keys, not needed while in School, but very valuable and personally distinct, make a good solution.
BUT, while that is a good solution for one-off visitors during the School Day, it is a rather pathetic / ridiculous policy to extend that to After-School or Public affairs such as the Christmas Pagaent.
As for the Policy to Collect a Car Key for a School Visit: This practice, too, can readily be subverted by any one with actual nefarious intentions. Bring an extra or dummy key; or simply force the Shooter to Start At The Office.
so WHY give them your car keys? What is that suppose to accomplish?
Great article.....do something, no matter how unrelated, useless, silly or stupid it is.
If an idea will save one life then it is worth it. No, cars that will safe a lot, no planes, trains or motorcycle that too would save lives. WE need cold rational thought and disscusion not a political play using a tragidy to make points.
Urban areas concentrate population, but just as many people live in rural areas of the US as live in cities–we are just more spread out. For many of our local school districts, it takes at least 30 minutes or more for someone from the sheriff's dept to arrive at the scene of any crime. This is one reason some districts have chosen to allow faculty and staff to carry concealed weapons. I don't like that situation, but I understand the thinking behind it.
The obvious solution would be for all the children in the school to be trained in gun safety and then proceed to teach them all to shoot. The upside of this could possibly be the best shooting team to ever be fielded by the US in the Olympics.
There is no reasonable way to stop a Newtown type shooter but there are simple common sense approaches that can help deal with these types of situations. I have seen schools with gates that can isolate parts of a building during an active shooter event. More cameras in schools would help law enforcement find the shooter without risking a slower room by room approach. Schools cannot afford major upgrades for safety but maybe the next time a school wants a million dollar ball field they will use the money to improve physical school security. Leave law enforcement to the police and leave educating to teachers. Arming an untrained teacher with a gun in a potentially highly charged, high risk environment is only asking for disaster. The FBI learned decades ago that you can't confront violent criminals with heavy weapon with small arms, why would we ask school teachers to do it?
Oh, definitely, do not have untrained, armed teachers in the schools. Train them, first! Put them through the same training airline pilots have to go through – you know, people in authority who have to make sure they do not shoot civilians or have their weapon taken away from them – and then, by all means, arm them. Criminals will always have guns, and will always target those least able to protect themselves. I am sick of my kids being sitting ducks because politicians are busy posturing about laws that won't affect criminals one iota.
I heards your comments before....
Why is it someone else's job to be responsible for the safety of your children? It is your duty, and yours alone, to be responsible for your children. If you are so very concerned about the safety of your children in public school, home school them. You can then be armed to protect your children at all times.
So then, being an elementary school teacher, part of my job description would then state that I have to be willing and ready to fire a weapon and murder someone? I actually have trained with a handgun, but I don't believe it is responsible or ethical to require teachers to carry them at work. Having seen how difficult it is to hit a target at 25 feet when I am concentrating and have no distractions, I can only imagine how effective I would be in an actual hostile situation. If I wanted that kind of position I would have been a cop.
The point of the article is to take a look from a distance at the reactions / solutions rationaly. People and comunities get caught up in the emotion of the moment and stop thinking about their problem once they THINK they have a solution that works for them. To change anything after that is to admit they were wrong, and that rarely happens.
This is not a local problem in rural Iowa, it is a national problem. That cannot be fixed with bandaid solutions.
I have failed to make my point, and for that I apologize. I understand that we shouldn't over react and that it was from the perspective of a national overview. My biggest complaint is the tone in which the article was written. It sounds like the ranting of a child with the sarcastic tones and silly quips. That's my point. Sorry it took such a lengthy explanation.
Fear of Earmarks Sparks Split in Sandy Aid Bill...
Thank you "Great/Clueless/Hypocritical One." Great going!!!
Um, are you replying to the wrong article?
BTW, if you are referring to Obama, the clueless one is you. He didn't write the aid bill.
How STUPID is it to write a story centered around other's stupidity, while not actually offering up a solution of your own? Why not just keep quiet, especially when you have as big a soap box as CNN?
There solution is in the article. DONT OVER REACT. Use your brains
Exactly. These people are just trying to do SOMETHING while the policymakers and lawmakers, etc. do nothing but continuing the debate. Schools are the face of frustration and fear. Time is ticking until the next school tragedy and the debating goes on. Lenore's article offered nothing constructive. What a waste of time.
The point of the article is not make things worse by knee jerk reactions and don't change for change sake. As a military vet whose job was security I think people need to know the most basic fact that is no secret, but most want to ignore. When it comes to protecting a large facility, such as a school, it is impossible to stop every possible attack.
Your best defense is to persuade the attacker not to try it through active security measures and the threat of the unknown. The unkown is what deters most, for a school that is the hardest part to sell to a would be attacker. A military installation can have the threat of a squad of heavily armed troops in body armor ready to react, even if there are none. The threat can be empty but the possibility is still there. Everyone knows a school does not have a SWAT team inside ready to react.
The active measures and threat of unkown will not stop a determined person. At this point its all about damage control, limiting how much damage that person can do before being stopped. This is the unpleasant truth few want to acknowledge and discuss. This is were the concentration of effort needs to be, not preventing a shooting, no law or good intention will stop every pyscopath from acquiring weapons. Its when they show up and start shooting, what do you do, how do you contain the situation. The next part is just as important how much money is EVERY single person willing to contribute to install these measures, how much of your money are you willing to spend for your child's safety? What you are willing to spend is what you will get, remember there is no 100% quarantee.
The best measure is to not be afraid and live life, be vigilant and know what to do if something happens.
I'm not sure what all the concern is about here. Schools have long been declared gun and drug free. Why worry? Doesn't that take care of everything?
So quit "declaring" them gun and drug free zones, duh
I'm not sure that sarcastically pointing out that "rural Iowa" is a moot place to be alert is fair. Newtown, among other places where shootings have occurred, was not exactly an urban city filled with crime. Many of her points are fair, but do not take into account that people are scared, and even though some of these proactive responses may not be effective in protecting a community, they may be effective in helping communities maintain hope and sanity.
Thanks for all of your proactive ideas in fixing the issue. Your bad-mouthing of the attempts to react to an issue that no one human being is ready to react to will truly solve the problem. Perhaps some more of your sarcasm will just encourage all of those who are guilty of having ever thought of causing such a trajedy to just come out of the wood work and lay down their weapons. You are truly a great citizen of this country. Thank you.
Your comment helped make the situation a LOT better – thanks!
I actually hear her point. Everyone is overreacting without taking a step back to consider the insanity of some of the schemes being proposed, while hardly anyone is focusing on issues that really should seem concerning (mental health, prescription drugs). I don't know what the answers are either, but so far the politicians answer has been to ban certain guns or ban magazines with a certain capacity, while ignoring the fact that he had two smaller capacity handguns he could have done the same job with and completely ignoring the fact that he was likely recently on SSRIs as were many recent mass murderers. Putting an armed cop at every school is stupid too, unless he's Bruce Willis from Die Hard he's likely going to wait for back up. Regardless, someone authoring an article that says maybe we ought to put some more consideration into some of these ideas is well within her rights and the article serves a journalistic purpose.
I have not yet made the connection to today's legislative/lobby arguments into the Newtown shooter's situation. His mother legally purchased the guns and was trained in how to use them. She enjoyed target shooting. She thought that taking her son to the shooting range and showing him how to use the weapons might be something that would engage her otherwise aloof son. He shot her in her own bed before taking legally-purchased weapons (even the handguns) into Sandy Hook. The whole shooting took place in a matter of seconds. At the moment, I don't see how anything I've heard from any political side so far would have made a significant difference in the Newtown shootings. I am not a gun owner and do not intend to ever be one, but the shrillness of the current political debate has some distinct weaknesses.
You make a valid point, and I think the author, like all of us with a passion to respond her article, have the right to opine on such a serious and relevant matter. I think the problem with the manner in which she chose to express her thoughts regarding "overreacting" was a little too cynical and insensitive given the nature of these reactions (precautions). For many schools, it's to provide a sense of comfort and community. I can't say that's stupid. Like you, I agree that there are so many issues to be addressed besides school responses (gun control, mental health care, etc.)– but, school reactions is one that needs to be addressed for not necessarily physical safety, but rather emotional safety.
Here's how it could have been prevented. The mom – regardless how much she 'likes target shooting' should NEVER have been able to get anything other than a single shot hunting rifle with a 6 round clip. That way, her son could still have shot her in her bed, and could still have killed one or more people at the school, but would not have been able to come close to the carnage he delivered. That is the ONLY rational response to this crisis. Outlaw all guns other than single shot rifles with 6 round or less clips, provide an amnesty/turn in period, and then harshly punish ANYONE found in possession of banned weapons. I am a lifetime NRA member, and have been a gun (rifle) owner since I was 6 years old. That does not prevent me from seeing this issue rationally. There is simply no legitimate reason for any citizen to own any other firearms.
I am not quite sure why all the buzz about armed police in schools. Texas schools have had armed school police for years with no issues. Do other states not have this?
NYS does not have this and we need it... it's not stupidity to deter disasters and keep people safe in an evolving society that is becoming more violent.
I live in Texas and only the high schools have one officer each, but not all day. This has always been to "keep the peace" within the school and to control gangs, drugs, fights, etc. among the students there. And my question is what happens when the officer has to use the bathroom, take a break, etc? If a gunman grabs a kid as a hostage and aims a gun at the school security, what happens? Does security "sacrifice" the child? How do you take down a gunman in a crowded school hallway between classes? I doubt even SWAT could do that.
I don't think your scenario invalidates the idea of having armed security. Most of the school shootings have involved unbalanced civilians, not professional gunmen who engage in behavior like hostage taking. They have no exit strategy from their rampage. Hostage taking during a rampage shooting is more of a tv show scenario in order to fill an hour long drama. Having an armed guard provides an opportunity to cut a rampage short. It may or may not work in a given scenario. Like everything in life...no guarantees.
there are a million reasons and situations...
Here in Colorado (Denver Metro area) we've had at least one police officer in every high school for 20 years now. Called the school resource officer. I also have no problem with this. I think every school should have a resource officer. Or, perhaps have a few of the staff join the local public patrol, civilian patrol, or whatever derivative their location has. These services offer programs by the police departments for civilian police training and fill the pool for "reserve" police. Perhaps include some light firearms training in these programs with certifications to carry openly for school protection. Or start hiring security companies to now watch our schools. Heck, I see armed guards at the bus terminals, why not our schools?
Because our kids shouldn't have to be in an armed camp. I don't want anyone with a gun – police or not – anywhere near my children. Period.
there are people around your kids everyday with a gun...you just don't know it
@Howie, except when someone with firearms wants to be near your kids, they will be and either they'll prove it like Sandy Hook or they keep it quiet and you are clueless to it. You really think yet another rule is going to change that? Let me ask this: when you want to toke, do you let some pesky weed laws stop you? When you want to speed, do you just take your chances at being caught? Oh wait, you never do any of those things, riiiiiiight.....
Most rural school districts in Texas only have one cop between elementary to high school. I went to one of those schools. People only saw the cop a few times a day because he made rounds from one school to another. He was just there to break up bad situations like fighting between students, not to take down a mass shooter. But I suppose knowing that a cop may be on the scene could deter a shooter. The people that are asking for armed guards at all schools haven't taken into account that our school systems are already underfunded. We can't even afford enough teachers, how are they going to afford armed guards? And now some teachers are being required to take courses designed to teach them how to take down a shooter. We villanize teachers in the media, cut their pay and their benefits, call them lazy, and yet we want them to be human shields for our children? Ridiculous.
Our county has just authorized resource officers in all elementary schools. We already had them in middle and high.
"..our school systems are already underfunded. We can't even afford enough teachers.."
Really? Locally our school district has a budget of over $44 million for less then 1,200 students, and it's considered a poor district. It is a rural area with a relatively low cost of living and yet over 30 teachers make more then $90k a year to work 7 hour days 184 days a year.
Missouri has many underfunded schools too. Schools in my area spend between $6,200 to $6,700 per year on each student. Top pay for teachers with a masters degree plus 16 additional college hours and 20 years experience is only about $50,000. Starting pay is about $26,000. Missouri cuts the state funds to schools every year, leaving more and more for the local taxpayers to pay (I paid $1,400 in school taxes this year.) The sheriff's department and police departments also are underfunded and undermanned. All schools do have locked doors and buzzer systems but the are easiily defeated, as Newtown showed us.
@John in Western NY: Show me your source. You have to take into account that the cost of living in New York is one of the highest compared to other states. Also, teachers are working even when the students are not at school. Have you ever wondered when they plan all of their lessons, or when they grade all of those papers? Middle and High school teachers usually have more than a hundred students to worry about, so imagine how long it takes to grade 100 papers at night.
I have never seen or heard of an armed police officer in a school. I live in a rural state so maybe that's why.
I've lived in two states where I've personally seen an armed police officer on a high school campus. It can be done and should be done.
My high school in Alaska had four armed guards on duty. We could not figure out why they needed weapons. Indeed, we had an indoor shooting range in the high school, both for guns and bows. Also, not located in an area where bears would be a problem. My only guess was that there were "issues" between the Filipinos and the Tongans for a while.
Uh huh...and tell me, where do Texas' schools rank on the national scale?
Our wonderful politicians knee jerk reaction to issues will fix this issue just like they fix all issues!!!!!
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