— Here’s a note to us about excessive school security:
Of course the author includes a chapter on what he feels schools should be doing to prevent mass shootings. Some of his suggestions include: Making each school accessible by only one central exit and entry point, installing a locked door that could withstand gunfire and a “greeting window” made of bullet proof glass, training some of the school staff to carry guns, and he suggested that all surveillance cameras in all school campuses should feed into one monitoring station on campus, with someone watching it at all hours. [So far there are “only” 800 cameras in the school district.]
Can you give some saner suggestions as to how we can build a community that nurtures children, without turning our schools into top-security prisons, that can prevent mass shootings. Perhaps even give some statistics as to how incredibly rare these events are, and how safe children are in schools?
I replied: Amy, this is so dismaying. To act as if all our children are in danger from a psychopath is delusional, wasteful, unnecessary and paralyzing. Not to mention expensive, and disheartening. Throw in a few more adjectives indicating futility and fear. But the reply to our common sense and ability to live with a scintilla of risk will always be: “What if that scintilla hits MY kid? ANY expense is worth protecting my child, no matter how remote the odds.”
Here’s an NPR piece on the real odds, which are extremely encouraging.
It’s just so hard to get anyone to care or keep perspective.
Adding to that excess fear are folks like this “expert” is spreading hysteria and anvil-like solutions. And his NEXT book sickens me even more: the idea that the internet is crawling with predators, so we must be on constant guard against this onslaught, when actually, the internet is like the real world, and the real world is like the schools: MOSTLY safe…but sometimes dangerous.
In a world where people are demanding 100% security the only answer may eventually be to respond with 100% security — i.e., prison-like conditions for schools and kids. That’s not the kind of place I want to send my kids to. You neither, I’d guess. If enough of us try to keep perspective, maybe we can turn the tide. I’d love to hear other folks’ ideas for quelling this new and virulent fear. – L.