I typed a really PC entry about school safety in this space, and then I deleted it. Here’s the thing about school safety–people don’t really want to think about school safety, and they’re really not interested in making it better. It’s like airport safety–people all want airplanes to be safe–as long as they don’t get chosen to be searched, or stopped and asked questions.
Most schools don’t have safety devices like metal detectors even though they are mandatory in many public buildings. Most people would tell you that they don’t want metal detectors–they’re so distasteful–even though they would probably help with school safety. People want schools in general to be safe, but they don’t want any evidence of safety measures being enforced.
Many school districts have policies stating that bookbags have to be mesh or clear, and yet parents will drop off kids with inappropriate backpacks. At my school we make the kids turn them over and dump them out, but I’m sure there are parents who would balk at the idea of their child being searched.
There are serious gang problems in many public schools, but teachers are rarely educated about the problem and are given few or no resources (I personally have never received any information about gangs other than from the kids themselves). I believe that most districts and parents are afraid to admit to these problems, so they act like they don’t exist. I won’t even mention how naive parents are regarding their kids and drug use.
Many schools are virtually open to the public. Kids are not required to wear any type of identification and some schools have over two thousand attendees, making it near impossible to know everyone who goes there. The last district I worked in tried to institute ID badges. The kids balked, and so the school board decided against them. This was also a school with multiple entrances open to the outside–many of which were completely unmanned.
Here’s the thing about school safety–everybody needs to figure out that their kids are not exempt. Do you think the Columbine kids told their parents they were going to take guns to school? NOBODY should be exempt and districts need to get tough across the board. They can’t do this without the parents backing them. If schools are going to be safer places, then we all need agree that the rules apply to everyone–not just a select few. When we get that straight, we’ll have a better chance of keeping everyone safe.
I can see comments is beinga tad stupid this evening–no one has a name and my computer shut down on three different occasions while trying to leave a comment. I’ll try again tomorrow.