What do the words ‘School Safety’ conjure for you?
I’ve heard them all, but that last one really gets to me.
That’s how the media play mass-shooting stories these days, by the numbers. It both reflects and reinforces a collective state of resignation, as if we’re all too weary to be outraged.
Unless you happen to know someone who gets murdered.
Mass shootings, especially in schools, are NOT a freaking competition!!!!
It’s been almost 20 years since Columbine!
GAWD, but I’m getting frustrated!
Where am I going with this?
‘Arm teachers’ sound familiar?
How about ‘allow concealed and open carry everywhere’?
Even some whose friends and/or loved ones were killed or injured in a school shooting advocate for more guns in schools:
“It’s not the first time I’ve brought this to you,” Minority Leader Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, told the House Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs during the afternoon meeting.
“It won’t be the last.”
Representative Neville is a Columbine survivor for those who may not already know.
Anyone who’s been following the aftermath of the massacres at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Santa Fe High Schools is probably already aware of those arguments, as well.
Everyone wants safe schools, right?
Then why aren’t schools actually becoming safer?
Is that a fair question? Well, yes and no.
Facts are wonky things sometimes.
Schools are already safe when it comes to the likelihood of a massacre.
How so, you ask?
According to the National Center for Education regarding Elementary and Secondary Education Enrollment:
In fall 2018, about 56.6 million students will attend elementary and secondary schools.
Also according to the National Center for Education the Number of Elementary and Secondary Educational Institutions in the United States in school year 2015-2016 is “132,853”. I’m assuming that number hasn’t changed much since then.
According to Everytown For Gun Safety:
There have been at least 89 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2018.
According to Education Week there were “28 students killed” in all of 2018.
I’ve never been accused of being a mathematical genius, but according to my calculations 28 students killed out of 56.6 million students enrolled translate into a .0000004956% chance of any one student in any one school being killed in a school shooting in 2018.
Also, 89 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2018 out of 132,854 schools translate into a .0006699083% chance of a gunfire incident taking place on any school in any location in the United States.
This is where my frustration comes in. Folks simply don’t want to hear that school shootings/massacres are still rare events.
That certainly does not make them any less consequential for those who experience a school shooting. I know this to be painfully true from personal experience. All it does is point out the fact they don’t occur very often.
But this is where folks like me bang our heads on our computer keyboards!
Why? Because we know lessons learned from our experiences haven’t actually been learned.
Here’s one article…one out of hundreds I’ve seen (gonna have to take my word for it – otherwise this essay would consist solely of links to those articles):
I don’t know the right things to do. I’ve surveyed teachers and students, whose thoughts range from feeling terrified, to feeling that it won’t happen here, to wanting to avoid a culture of fear from more armed security and shooter drills, and I sympathize with all those sentiments.
This teacher is absolutely correct….school safety isn’t taken seriously enough.
But school safety doesn’t begin, nor does it end with planning and preparing for an active shooter.
Where to start begins with a viable all hazards threat assessment…something I believe far too many schools do not know how to complete.
Who does know how to do threat assessments?
Emergency managers, that’s who.
Where can they be found?
At county, state, and federal levels of government. That’s where.
Even some cities and larger school districts have emergency management agencies.
Many private resources exist, as well.
Where there’s a will there’s a way!
That’s why I compiled a fairly comprehensive, but by no means complete, School Safety Resources List.
School safety isn’t rocket science….not by any stretch!
My Two Cents.
- My Two Cents: School Safety….’Quick Fix’ Style - September 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety – DAMMIT! It’s Not Rocket Science….. - January 28, 2019
- My Two Cents: Kovington Kids Kalamity Double Standard…. - January 26, 2019
- My Two Cents: Weighing in on the ‘Covington Kids Calamity’ - January 22, 2019
- My Two Cents: The Illogical Logic of the NRA - January 11, 2019
- My Two Cents: School Safety Is An Enigma - January 3, 2019
- My Two Cents: ‘To Protect and To Serve’ vs the ‘Public-Duty Doctrine’ - December 22, 2018
- My Two Cents: Quiet Rooms - December 15, 2018
- My Two Cents: Stay in Your Lane Road Rage NRA Style - November 26, 2018
- My Two Cents: School Safety Hoplophile Style - November 17, 2018