How about let’s begin this blog post with a proverbial ‘gut punch’, okay?
For anyone not already having seen this video, be forewarned it may trigger some folks because it contains simulated school shooting footage.
This PSA by Sandy Hook Promise has gotten both positive and negative reviews from a very broad spectrum of those who’ve watched. But that isn’t why I shared it here. Not by any stretch.
Of note to me is what the kids are showing to viewers….things like backpacks to organizers to headphones to skateboards.
Wait!! What? Skateboards? Seriously?
The Skateboard Scourge
The video starts off innocuously enough, but as it descends into active shooter mode, one of the kids smashes a window with a skateboard.
Why is that important? Because Governor Mike Huckabee says it is, that’s why….
That was in response to Beto O’Rourke’s statement regarding confiscation/buy back of assault style weapons.
The idiocy of Guv Huck’s Tweet notwithstanding and setting aside the obvious ‘logical fallacy/false equivalence’ in his thinking regarding gun control, the reality is a skateboard used to smash a window during an active shooter incident raises more questions in my addled emergency management planning mind than it answers….things like bullet-resistant glass? Safety glass? Glass shards? First floor? Second floor? On ad nauseum….
But I digress….
What does this have to do with school safety? Everything!
Quick Fix or School of Errors?
Following school mass shootings, the push for ‘quick fixes’ is often times overwhelming. In fact, according to school safety subject matter expert, Dr. David Perrodin, school safety is now an estimated $3 billion industry:
One of the things parents rush to buy is ‘bullet-proof’ backpacks. But there’s more to this than meets the eye. For example:
From the article:
Bulletproof backpacks only protect against handguns.
That…that right there…is HUGE!
But, there’s also this:
So, an assault style weapon (AR-15 AK-47 or similar) will render backpack inserts virtually useless in a mass shooting scenario because rounds fired from those ‘weapons of choice’ of many mass shooters go right through a backpack insert? Got it…
And this from Daily Beast:
But the 11-inch-by-14-inch plate isn’t big enough to cover all of a kid’s vital organs, according to Lynn Westover, a former Marine sniper who is now a security consultant with Six Layer Concepts & Consulting based in Washington State. “Even on a little kid, that doesn’t cover a whole lot.”
So, basically, a backpack shield will not ‘protect’ a child from an active shooter.
Wouldn’t that be akin to a false sense of security?
School Security: Big Business, No Regulations
As previously stated by Dr. Perrodin, school safety is a $3 billion industry right now. Hardware and software are the two most focused on areas, and they cost a shit-ton of money with little to no studies regarding efficacy.
And now this:
I grieve right alongside Max Schachter (my family was directly affected by the Columbine massacre as was his by the Parkland massacre). I understand the need to take up a cause like his more than most folks out there. In fact, I wrote a post that touched on this awhile back: My Two Cents: Wagon Train Advocacy.
But the reality is the push to develop a National Clearinghouse For School Safety is one example of reinventing the school safety wheel, in my opinion:
There simply is not enough effort being put into greasing those already existing wheels.
And that’s why the ‘quick fix’ approach is so misguided when it comes to school safety.
Vendors aren’t required to be licensed.
School safety ‘experts’ aren’t required to have any certification.
School admins look for something to ‘show’ for their efforts, and often times come up with ‘quick fixes’ like bollards at front doors, bullet resistant windows (remember the skateboard kid in the video above?), door locks, and other mechanisms that violate fire codes, but vendors are still more than happy to sell their wares to unsuspecting gullible school districts.
And, to exacerbate the problem, parents are all too often more than willing to buy into these visible ‘quick fixes’ instead of getting involved themselves.
It’s simply the easiest path for too many parents and is a gawd awful approach to this issue.
How to Get It Right!
An alternative would be to get involved and use free school safety resources such as:
Another is Teen CERT: Community Emergency Response Team.
One local jurisdiction in New Mexico is doing it right!
Bottom line? Folks like to complain…a LOT…about ‘costs’ associated with school safety. Folks are also all too often unwilling to get involved or even avail themselves of existing resources to help do the job right with minimal to no costs.
Those resources are out there, folks, just sayin’….
School Safety is a PROCESS….NOT a product!!
There are no ‘quick fixes’ to school safety.
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