This week, children throughout North American and in other parts of the world, which follow a similar school year, are returning to school. Kids are happy to re-join their friends and teachers, parents are both proud and relieved. Kids, teachers, parents are probably not thinking about the security of their schools this week.
I wish they never had to think about security, but hopefully some of the adults are. Not much has changed in recent years, on a national basis, related to gun control or how society deals with people who have mental health problems. I hope more has happened to improve the security of schools. Schools and public safety officials need to do as much as possible to avoid another school shooting.
Immediately following the terrible loss of life of children and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut in December 2012, I had one of those moments when I thought this can’t be happening. But it did happen and similar killing sprees continue. I knew most parents, school officials, media, politicians and even police officers watched that terrible event live on TV but in their hearts couldn’t believe it could ever happen to their children in their community. They live in safe countries, cities, small towns; where something like that just couldn’t occur. But crime, guns and disturbed people are everywhere. It can happen – anywhere on any day.
Since Sandy Hook, the cowards who commit these horrible crimes have also turned to killing people who are just going out to watch a movie. The terrible incident in Aurora Colorado in 2012 saw twelve (12) people killed and seventy (70) injured. A similar incident in Lafayette Louisiana saw two (2) killed and nine (9) injured.
So how do we stop or at least reduce the frequency of these crimes, especially against school children? Get guns off the streets and cure all disturbed people – as we have witnessed since Sandy Hook, solutions which cannot be easily implemented. So I decided at the time I would try to contribute a small piece of the solution. Get parents thinking and then talking to their local school officials about school security.
The project was a small step. First, I want to thank those who contributed to the project. The single page document “Seven Questions on School Security” “A discussion guide for parents and School Officials,” was a collaborative effort by contributors from all over the world. This document is not even close to a complete answer to reducing school shootings, but it may be a start.
Parents, who are interested in the security of their children’s school, can use it to start a discussion with school officials. I hope many parents will be happy with the outcome of that discussion. If they are not, they must decide what their next step will be. The whole point of the project was to engage parents and schools officials in a discussion on security. Send it to every parent you know and ask them to send it to every parent they know.
The “Seven Questions” is not meant to be a security survey or a poll on school security. No one is collecting data from the “Seven Questions”. It is a document to help guide parents in a verbal discussion with school officials. There is no charge for the document, please circulate as you wish. I grant permission to anyone who wishes to post it on a website or translate it into any language. Please do not use it as part of a commercial undertaking. Please take five minutes now and send it to every parent you know. Thanks. You can download the “Seven Questions on School Security” from the Downloads section of our website, the Whitehorse Group.