The swirl of news reports about districts putting armed guards in schools and training teachers and even janitors to carry firearms in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings is hard to keep up with. I know, because I have been trying mightily to do so.
This week, in the Detroit area alone, training is under way to teach educators how to survive shooters in their buildings, and officers in a nearby county who patrol local schools now are armed with high-powered rifles. Another Michigan district is installing new security cameras and a buzz-in entry system. Meanwhile, an armed guard at a Lapeer, Mich., school left his unloaded firearm in a student restroom.
A parent in Florida has paid to provide an armed deputy to patrol her child's school. I read one article about a company that has developed portable whiteboards that students can also use as armor to deflect bullets.The list goes on and on.
Legislation is being introduced all over the place. President Obama has proposed, among other Sandy Hook-related initiatives, using $150 million in funding to put more school resource officers in schools. Lawmakers here in Maine and other states want to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons.
Then there’s the flood of calls for bans on assault weapons, including one from Newtown, Conn., Police Chief Michael Kehoe and other top police commanders in that state. Wyoming has proposed a measure to nullify any new federal gun laws that might arise in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.
SIA has identified school safety as one of its top five issues during this Congressional session.
And, just today, Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virg., called on the Obama administration to improve the nation’s background checks for those wanting to purchase guns and to establish a National Center for Campus Public Safety. The center would provide training, research and best practices for educational facilities at all levels to increase safety and prevent violence, he said.
How will it all play out? I’m interested in hearing your views. What’s your take? Shoot me an email at email@example.com.