Another source of revenue available to pay a cop assigned to a school is union dues. Unions give a ton of their members’ dues to politicians, along with lining the union officials’ own pockets with teachers’ hard earned money. Spend that money where it’s needed most—on the children’s safety. By the way, the security entourage that mayors and city council members have is wasteful. I know; I used to be on those details. Let those officers do something more worthwhile, let them safeguard our kids.
Another argument I’ve heard raised against the idea of having a cop posted in schools is that the cop will become a target. How ridiculous! Cops are targets 24/7/365, they know it and are trained to take appropriate action. I’d much rather have a cop confront a gunman than an unarmed kindergarten teacher.
Giving guns to teachers? Bad, bad idea. If you’ve ever been a teacher, or know someone who is, you understand the difficulty of their job. It’s not an eight-hour day. They get to school before the kids arrive, and stay long after the children are gone. During the day, not only are they busy teaching, but they also have the sometimes-frustrating job of keeping order and giving special attention to slower students. To burden them with the responsibility of neutralizing an armed intruder is absurd and outrageous.
Speaking of cost, training a teacher to use a firearm safely and effectively would be an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Not only does the teacher need initial firearm training and then re-certification, but he/she would need tactical training as well. Teachers with guns—no way. Cops already have that base covered.
Cameras. Yes. Learn from the casinos in Las Vegas. If you’ve ever been inside one of the surveillance camera rooms in a hotel/casino, you’ve seen how easily the entire complex can be monitored. Cameras can pan and zoom as well, allowing the operator to dial down on an unknown or suspicious subject. The key to surveillance cameras is to have them constantly monitored. That’s the early warning system. A camera without an operator is like a gun without bullets—useless.
Next suggestion: install pull alarms similar to what the schools already have in place for fire alarms. It’s unlikely that a first-grader will have a cell phone. And if a teacher is not present or somehow incapacitated, the children can simply pull the alarm to get help quickly. Costly? Probably. Again, what is your child’s life worth? Instead of buying iPads for everyone and other extraneous items, invest in something that can save a life. Look to businesses in the local community to help foot the bill for some of these enhanced security measures.
Keeping doors locked and providing screening at the main school entrance is an unfortunate reality. Ingress and egress must be controlled. The buzzer system for daytime visitors is no longer an idea, but a needed layer of security.
Mental health issues cannot be ignored. While mainstreaming those who have mental health problems is certainly compassionate, it puts too many others at risk. Confidentiality is literally killing people. Case in point—the Virginia Tech shooter. We need to ensure that we identify each case, and anyone who needs to be notified about that person’s status, is notified. If that individual is deemed to be a risk, removal is the appropriate response.
Guns were not the cause of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but guns in the hands of cops are a part of the solution. Get a trained cop in each of our schools. Get several in large campuses. We waste cop money and time on unnecessary perks like escorts and V.I.P. protection, that most times translate to making sure someone who thinks they are important doesn’t have to interact with “common folk.” Reassess how we spend our tax dollars. Make each penny count—it’s an investment in the future of our nation: our precious children.