Safety First

What She Wore: grey gauchos with a turquoise pin stripe; turquoise, long-sleeve, ribbed tee with a few decorative buttons, turquoise beaded mules.  First time all year I’ve gone to school it flat shoes–I felt SO short.

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.


About takedeux

In one summer I had a baby who was hospitalized for five weeks, quit my job, and moved back to my hometown. This blog is about starting over.
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28 Responses to Safety First

  1. Cindy says:

    Half the problem with kids these days is the parents! There is a prevailing attitude of "my kid would NEVER do that!" but I\’m pretty sure that the parents of kids who do \’bad\’ things have all said the same thing.
    Too many parents try too hard to be their kid\’s friend as opposed to their parent. There is a fine line to walk, that\’s for sure. But, I\’ve said to all my boys that I am their mother first and friend second. My kids can (and have) talked to me about just about everything, but they know that I\’m the MOM. The only computer in the house is in my bedroom – besides my 19 yr. old\’s laptop – and he can\’t get on the internet in his room so he has to use it in the rec room out in the open where anyone can see what he\’s doing. I don\’t begrudge them their privacy and certainly don\’t stand over them the entire time they\’re on the internet, but if I were to walk into the room and they were to try and block my view, they know I\’m going to get down to the bottom of what they were doing!
    I\’ve even told them that if I thought they were up to something or they were acting \’funny\’ and wouldn\’t tell me what was going on, I\’d go so far as to snoop through their rooms! And I explained that I wouldn\’t do it to invade their privacy, but because their safety comes first. As I said…fine line.
    It\’s also open season on their backpacks. I go through them on a regular basis – mostly to clean out the garbage and old food they have a tendency to leave in there. LOL
    Parents and teachers have to act in conjunction no matter what the issue when it comes to children. We may not like the things we have to do in order to keep our kids safe, but we still have to agree to do them!
    Take care,

  2. CJ says:

    Have you visited Catholic Mom\’s space…she was writing along similar lines.  When are people going to get the idea that this is being done to protect their children as well as others?  Sheesh!  I\’m going back to  my breathing exercises…catch up with you later!

  3. Jaysey says:

    Couldn\’t have said it better myself.  Poeple really don\’t want to institute protective measures of any kind if they\’re going to be an inconvenience.  Like your safety (or your child\’s) isn\’t worth a little inconvenince.  Sheesh.  Glenn Beck was talking on Headline News a couple weeks ago about the most secure airline in the world.  People often have to wait three hours while going through security.  They expect this.  They accept this.  And no one gets on one of those airplanes with a bomb or the ingredients to make one.

  4. Becca says:

    All that I can say is that I wholeheartedly agree with you. Hands down one of the best things I have read today.

  5. Cheryl says:

    My grandkids have ID badges and without them they have to call home and go home or someone has to bring the badge to them.  It only happened once with one of them and twice for the other one.  Now they never forget.  There is one open entrance and a policeman at the school.  You can only go in at that entrance and once in you are checked.  You have to show a legal ID (drivers liscense) and a criminal background check is done before you leave the office.  If you are not on the approved list to have lunch with that child or whatever reason ou are there…you don\’t get in and you are escorted off the property.  The children wear uniforms and they had the see through bags at one time but they gave up on them and I don\’t know why.  In order to get past the office they make a copy of your drivers liscense and you have to sign in and sign out when you are done.  I beleive schools and bus stops are very dangerous places. 

  6. Karla says:

    RE: your advice from my blog, I think it\’s best I leave it alone and it will go away eventally, sooner rather than the later if I were to pursue anything. It kind of goes against my normal, what do I have to lose attitude (after obesessing and over-analyzing it first of course). Not quite sure why I am taking this tack this time versus the others (ie baseball boy) but there it is, at least for now. 

  7. Karla says:

    OOPS- the previous comment was form me. KAE

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Did you hear that there was a lawmaker in Wis that was trying to pass a law allowing teachers to be armed??
    I would sooner see metal detectors.  What a world.

  9. Nooner™ says:

    KM, I agree with you 100%. In this post 9/11 society, we need to tighten up everywhere .. including schools.
    Re "No Name" and No Picture when leaving a comment:  The writer of the comment can see that is missing. Here is what has worked easily for me: When I spot that the pic and name are missing, before Adding the comment, I click once on the pic and both the name and pic appear.

  10. WINDOW LIVE says:

    In Louisville the schools have ID badges for teachers students etc.  Where I live they have some bogus dress code and I don\’t mean uniforms so they spend a great deal of time worrying about that.  To hell with school safety as long as they are following the dress code.  As far as metal detectors the schools can\’t afford them.  They can\’t afford anything I pay over $200 in fees plus a year for 2 kids.  What happened to free education.

  11. Unknown says:

    School safety should be a huge issue for parents, I am in shock that they are not taking it seriously. The public schools here have medal detectors at the doors, kids are required to wear ID badges, and there is a police officer at the school on campus every single day. Yes it cost us a bit more money to put them there, but I don\’t worry about my kids at school, that should be a safe environment for them without question. I deal with the kids everyday that cause the problem in schools…the drug dealers, and the gang bangers, and all of them will tell you that before any of the safety measures went into place they all carried a gun to school. That is a scary thought. These kids care about making money, and getting revenge on the person that they thought did them wrong regardless of where it is and who gets in the way. Maybe if parents spent just one day with me at work the would be jumping to get saftey measures in place at schools. I think most parents are blind to what is going on, blind to the fact that kids are that "bad" , think that it only happens in places like California or New York, some big city so far away that it could not possibly be reaching their quiet town! I hate to tell them its everywhere. It is sad to think that nothing will be done until someone gets hurt or worse killed, then who will they be pointing the finger at for not keeping their kids safe while they were in school!

  12. Sarah says:

    I agree with you 100%. No schools up here that I know of require an ID badge or have any kind of security measures enforced at all. It\’s scary. Just over a year ago at an Indian Reservation about an hour away there was a school shooting. I mean, that is a rough area compared with everywhere else around here and THEY don\’t even have security measures to prevent it (they do have security officers – one of which was killed). There were people I know there…student teachers and such. Anyway, after that happened there were rumors (who knows how true they were) that people were planning similar things at other schools around the area for the same day, but for whatever reason they didn\’t get carried out. ID badges and metal detectors are the only way to go to keep the kids safe in school. If a school could put all kinds of information on there…lunch "money", activity passes, comupter time, etc. That way all of that stuff would be in one place and it would be a real problem if you didn\’t have it, even for one day. The problem up here is that everyone knows everyone, so people would say "Oh, you know who I am, I don\’t need one!" Okay, I\’m going to stop rambling now, I don\’t know if this is making any sense!

  13. Nadine says:

     There is a thing that a person can put their Dl in and it checks for sex offenders and other felons….and then okays or denies that person entry into the school… Jenks Oklahoma. Costly…$6000 scanner.
     The whole bring a gun to school thing is gettin\’ out of hand but there is no simple answer to that unless you lock down schools and treat it like an airport….and there are people that are opposed to that………would they rather bury their children??
     Then you have those that home school to keep there kids safe…..and I am not sure how I feel about this….I have seen some really super kids turn out from homeschooling but I also know that some kids use it as a way to "stay in school" to get the DL and then stop school all together. What I worry about is the socialization of the kids that are homeschooled….being sheltered from the outside world…..Too many issues here and too little time and not enough brain power to muttle my way thru it all.
     You, Girlfriend, keep your self safe.

  14. Alicia says:

    OOOHH!!!  My name is showing up!!
    Ya know, the security thing scares the crap outta me…Laine will be ready for school soon and I just don\’t know how to deal with that…
    HUGS!!  🙂

  15. Unknown says:

    I don\’t get why parents don\’t support safety measures more.  I know I would…even if it meant my kid was being searched.  Because I know my kid would not have anything to hide anyway, so what\’s the big deal?  Sheesh.
    By the way, I\’ve moved my blog.  The new address is posted over on my space. I do hope you\’ll come visit me!
    God bless : )

  16. Nora says:

    I agree 100%.  Yet I know from the hubby\’s experiences the parents will just want to circumvent it.

  17. Unknown says:

    My husband works in a school and I agree with a lot of what you said.  The schools here where we live have police stationed on each campus.  There also have automatic locks on each entrance.  A vistitor cannot enter without an inside worker buzzing them into the building.  Still, it is a scary thing to send your kids off to school these days.  And scary, too, for school employees.

  18. ncjenn2nd says:

    I agree with the safety issue.  My school has a very open campus, people can come into any of the 7 buildings or 3 trailers at any time, because no doors are locked, our students have to use bathrooms that have an outside entrance, they have absolutely no security officers on campus and most of the time, parents don\’t go to the office to drop things off to their kids, they just show up to drop it off real quick.  Plus, parents are allowed to come up on campus to pick their kids up, and they arrive around 1:30, school does not get out until 3:00…do they have nothing better to do?  And why can they not stay in their car like the other parents…oh yeah, cause they show up almost two hours early to pick up their kids.  I don\’t always feel safe when I see a stranger on campus, and lots of people are strangers to me because 1) we, as staff, don\’t have to wear name badges and 2) I am not from around here originally.  Another issue that was brought up at our staff meeting the other day was that when we have a lockdown, we are supposed to lock the door.  However, when we want to lock the door, we have to open the door and use the key.  So if there is a gunman out in the hallway, teachers are expected to go into the hallway and lock the door with the key and then shut the door and expect the gunman to believe that the room is empty.  Yeah, right.

  19. Wahzat says:

    I couldn\’t agree with you more!
    Oh by the way I tried that trick that Nooner suggested and my picture appeared and I was a noname no longer.
    Have a great weekend.
    (By the way my daughter who is quite fair has that same problem with the bruise thing. She marks easily as well and it can be quite scary to see. She however is too young to care!)

  20. Lizzie-Beth4Him says:

    Wow!  I didn\’t realized I had missed 3 of your blogs.  One of the nice things about teaching at a smaller Christian school was having a coded door that everyone would have to put the combination in.  Delivery and guests rang the bell, and secretary watched for scheduled guests.  Even that wouldn\’t be fool proof if a crazed person wanted to enter, but it would give people time to call the police, or maybe escape.  It does bother me that decent people have to give up many of their rights because of those that would hurt them.  That is another topic, however.
    Thumbs up on your honest and straight forward approach with your students.  It always worked for me and they respect you for it.  Have a great Friday!

  21. K says:

    Hi Katie…
    I had a whole posting that I took down on school violence and the violence against our children, the futures most precious asset.  There is seemingly more and more violence against our kids, in the schools – and I questioned if it was ALWAYS like this or its simply an occurence that is happening as a result of the world conditions.  We are very naive to think that we don\’t need to protect our children from senseless acts of violence… and I am still waiting for a national leader to step in and start healing the gapping wounds that has been left.  Crazed gun men entering schools, kids bringing weapons to school, constant bomb threats and schools being put on high alert.  Why?
    I remember back in the day when going to school was my saving grace from the abuse I endured at home.  But now, that isn\’t the case any longer.  There is no safe haven for kids anymore – and many parents are taking this seriously.  I can\’t help but think that home schooling isn\’t such a bad idea after all with all this senseless violence – how can a child feel safe to walk in and get an education?  And then, for those who live with this violence each and every day… how is that NORMAL???  I\’m glad you brought this up because it has been on my mind and my blog posting, that I have removed, was not necessarily the one I really wanted to relay but soon enough, when the emotions aren\’t running so high on this topic I will write about it again.
    I got caught up on the postings below… too cute!  Your students are precious!
    Ciao bella,
    PS.. not sure what\’s going on with MSN these days… even my messenger is mucking up… its very frustrating.

  22. Unknown says:

    OMG @ the "Teacher being armed" idea. Wow.
    The BOYS school has only one 6 door entry door to enter, w/ metal detectors, all the kids have to wear id\’s around their necks on lanyards. If they are caught w/o the id badge they have to serve a Saturday detention. This is a huge reason to wear the darn thing!!! LOL
    Safety must be a #1 priority in our schools…but then…look @ that happened to the GIRL in Kindergarten last year…up to 20 minutes unsupervised each morning. *sigh* A mom came in my office the other day, her daughter is going to that school this year…the same thing is happening again, I suppose they know I changed my daughters school.

  23. Lizzie-Beth4Him says:

    Just stopped by to thank you for stopping by to visit and leaving your great comment.  I can well imagine the fun and excitement of your wedding day.  Have a wonderful weekend!  Your picture is so adorable!

  24. Dena Marie says:

    Yeah. During high school, we were supposed to wear ID badges; and I was one of the rebellious ones who wouldn\’t wear it. It only took a year for the school to give up on enforcing it. And the few times that I\’ve flown, I\’ve been annoyed by airport lines and safety procedures. It\’s a classic \’have our cake and eat it too\’ scenario. It\’s absolutely awful, and I can say this because I\’m one of the guilty ones.  😦

  25. Sue says:

    Good posts.  I agree with you 100% on this.  The whole thing irks me and you should be educated regarding gangs.  Contrary to belief of parents and some teachers, they are out there stronger than ever.  Don\’t ask how I know, but I know.  Sorry I haven\’t been around.  DQ has required every spare minute I\’ve had.  I was in Arkansas this week though!  I wasn\’t sure where you were (although I have an idea which city) and It was like 24 hours notice before we road tripped it down there.  I thought about ya the whole time, wishing I knew where you were!: ) Sue

  26. Antonella says:

    Well, in Brooklyn, there are quite a few schools, mostly high schools, that have metal detectors. AND, on Halloween, practically all schools search every kids bookbag for any kind of trouble making things. I think maybe here in NYC, this kind of thing is expected, so people don\’t look at it the same way as they would in other places. My high school didn\’t have metal detectors, but they did have security gaurds and cops all over the place. To get into the school, we scanned our ID cards into a machine and if we were late or if the card didn\’t work, an alarm would go off and there were security gaurds coming your way in no time.
    A stupid thing that they do here though is they ban certain clothing and colors because they are associated with gangs, but who cares?? Just because you can\’t wear your gang color, doesn\’t mean you can\’t still cause trouble. In fact, my sister\’s high school was in the news because one kid was starting fights on purpose and then video taping them and putting them online. In a school near my house, one student pusjed the principal into the elevator door and the door opened. He fell down a flight or 2!! People do some crazy stuff! Anyway, we definately need more school saftey!
    Have a great weekend,

  27. Sheryl-Ann says:

    I am definitely in agreement with you.  This situation re school safety needs to be addressed very seriously because so many students, teachers, etc. are at risk.  Parents also need to be very vigilant and to not fight whatever laws are put in place.  They need to help, not hurt the situation.  Take care and hope your weekend is going well.

  28. siobhan says:

    I love this post.  And it is so true.  Parents scream about wanting their kids to be safe, but then balk at the measures needed to make that happen.
    When Kristina was here from Germany she was the first of my kids to go to one of the regular high schools.  (The first three went to the LV School for Performing Arts)  Her year they tried the strict dress code.  Tan,black or khaki pants, solid color shirt.  For the boys, the pants had to fit them and not be belted down below their butt (which I blogged about a few days ago).  for girls, their midriff couldn\’t be exposed, etc.  The guidance consueler said to me that at least it wasn\’t a uniform.  I said that a uniform would be preferable.  With this nonsense you have to buy completely different wardrobes.  School, after school, dress up.  He told me that the reason for it was that they had problems with drug dealers and gang members on campus last year.  This was so that they could tell them apart from the students.  Huh??  You think drug dealers have never heard of Mervyns???  That they won\’t buy the clothes if it means profit??  And Now I am really happy to have my kid go to school here!!  NOT!!  When I suggested the ID badge, I was told that kids would forget it all the time, so there was no point to it!  I realize that there were only 400 kids in my high school as opposed to  the 3,000 in this one, but when did the kids start controlling things?  You can\’t get the kids to behave the way you want, so you just give up???  Boy am I glad that wasn\’t my teacher\’s or parent\’s philosophy.  Oh and Btw, the strict dress code last about 3 months, so Kristina bought those clothes for nothing!  They went to the regular dress code.  Last year I kept expecting to get called into the office for Dinah and dress code.  I never made her change, but, I told her that if I ever had to go in because she couldn\’t dress appropriately, she wouldn\’t see daylight for a LONG time!!!  🙂
    Sorry this turned into a novel,

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