What Can Schools Do to Boost Security for Students?

In the wake of the shooting that killed at least 18 children at a Connecticut elementary school, is there anything schools should do to guard against such acts?

A couple of days after , we know that police locally have beefed up patrols around St. Louis County elementary schools.

The news is almost too great to bear, as evidenced by watching President Barack Obama choking up as he talked about the shootings on Friday.

As a parent, I know that like you, I think nothing of sending my child off to school every day. We just cannot wrap our heads around the thought of teachers, who should be explaining the three R's, not getting between our children and a gunman.

In Connecticut, Brenda Lebinski told Newtown Patch that her daughter is safe because "my daughter's teacher is my hero. She locked all the kids in a closet and that saved their lives."

We think our children will be safe in the school when we put them on the bus or drop them off at the curb.

And when something horrible happens, we wonder if the schools should be doing more to protect them.

Is that unfair? Is it unrealistic to expect schools to be able to guard against such a staggering act of violence? Or is there more they should be doing? What are you willing to give up for more security — tax dollars? The convenience to visit school without a security screening?

katie December 19, 2012 at 06:12 PM
You know, its funny as I have friends on both sides of the gun control conflict. I have friends that not only own, but build and sell automatic weapons and I have friends that think guns should be outlawed. I say to all of my friends this....I think we are all speaking from our hearts because you can't get over this devestating loss of little kids without looking for an answer to prevent it from EVER happening again. I don't know what the answer is, but we must continue to talk about it and look for it. There is nothing wrong with both sides being heard and figuring out something in the middle because we ALL WANT THE SAME THING, truly we do. We all want our kids to be safe. So as people voice their differing oppinions, please keep and open mind for the solution because we are all striving for the same outcome. God Bless the families of Sandy Hook Elementary.
katie December 19, 2012 at 06:17 PM
A letter I sent this week: Thank you for the call. I think for everyone this unimaginable horror has left us with an uneasy feeling and worry in our hearts. How could it be any other way? As my husband I and are talking thru way to protect children in schools he had an interesting point. Even though we use key cards and a buzz in system (similar to Sandy Hook Elementary) we too have windows that could be shot out in an identical fashion. Two distinct solutions came to our mind. The first solution would be to have a trained, armed person(s) in the building. For instance, at St. Peters possibly the Maintenance person or if one of the front office staff felt comfortable with keeping a locked weapon in their desk for such an emergency. Obviously this would come with some responsibility of target practice quarterly or something of that nature, but as a parent I would be comfortable with someone on the support staff having a weapon locked in a safe box for an emergency situation that require lethal force. We cannot send the staff to a gun fight with crayons and a stamp pad.
katie December 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Continued..Secondly, a very simple/easy solution that would have reduced the fatalities, which is keep all doors locked to the outside hallways. Have people knock to enter the room. I realize this is an extra step to get into the room and a little more work for the staff, but if all the doors would have been locked it appears that would have bought the teachers the time they needed to protect some if not all of the students. On the long-term thought of this, there could be keycard entry into each room and the cards are programmed only for the room(s) where you have your children. You badge into the building and then into each individual childs room which remains locked to anyone not carrying the proper key. NOTE:I HAVE BEEN TOLD "the use of room locks are only allowable with an intruder is present" PER FIRE MARSHALL We just wanted to make a few suggestions that might want to be considered to increase the safety of the kids at the school. Of course we are all frightened at the thought that this could EVER happen. If there is ANYTHING we can do to protect our children then I think we have to consider all options. All weapons will not be off the street tomorrow, the next day or next year. Either will the people that are willing to do horrible acts. As much as I would like to live in the world and pretend this could NEVER happen at Childs Name’s school, it just isn’t the reality. So getting real and looking for real solutions is at the forefront of my thoughts at the moment.
katie December 19, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Great information. It is good to look for solutions and compromises. Nice.
PaulRevere December 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
It's not the "building" of our Public institutions that concern me. It is the "Teacher costs" that must come down. Public sector unions are the leaches of society. My hope is that there are a whole bunch of Resident "snobs" who see the light.
katie December 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM
This doesn't really seem like a solution. If it was would we have marajuana, cocaine, heroin, etc etc etc....Did prohibition work? All this would do is clog our jails and make for wiser criminals. Do you know Mexico is shipping its drugs here in submarines now?
PaulRevere December 19, 2012 at 06:43 PM
CreveDad The constituion Does allow for any law "regulating commerce". I would remind you that obamacare "regulates" medical insurance. We already have Gun license laws that can refuse ownership of guns to "certain" individuals. Guilt is not the starting point of refusal. Refusing A gun in the house of any mentally Ill person could be Constitutional under the "Welfare of US citizenry clause" or the "Commerce Clause". Once that Mother Placed that Gun in the hands of that "mentally Ill child" placed the Welfare of every Citizen in Danger. No supreme court would rule otherwise.
The Missourian December 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Instead of bitching about how teachers have it so much better than you or whatever your problem is, why don't you work on making sure people who aren't getting a fair shake do. F___ing race-to-the-bottom moron.
PaulRevere December 19, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Missourian: It is teachers that "OPT OUT" The same Way "Teachers " Have opted OUT OF SOCIAL SECURITY? Why don't Teachers have to Pay their social security Tax for the benefit of all. Exactly my point! You want me to pay Public Education because I opt out while Teachers can opt out of Soc sec and not have to pay into that public system. Private school parents do not Opt out of anything. It is the Public school Parents who Opt out of Paying for their own Education. Public school parents "freeload" off a neighbor who already pays for their childs education. Teachers Opt out of a Public Social Security system--Yet do not pay One-cent to support that Public cost. Instead-, choosing to freeload their Pension by again Taxing it as "Education". Result--Residents support Teacher pensions and have to support their own soc security costs. Don't you see a double cost for all the workers in School districts. Why should You (Teachers) be exempt from soc sec? Why should You OPT Out ? And yet NOT pay into the system. You are the "Human Leaches" of society. No other words can describe your greed and fraud to the uninformed Parents. Shame on you,.
PaulRevere December 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Missourian: Every Resident in every Public school district does not get a "fair Shake" And that is exactly what I hope to accomplish here first. My message is for Residents who are not teachers or part of the Public sector Union. (I fully support Private unions-you should know). That is because they must compete for their wages. Teacher unions compete among themselves. (translated-- No competition) Result: the highest non-earned Wages in Missouri. You can continue to call me any name you want. An informed resident will take time.
Regina December 19, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Have you ever been a teacher? If not you have to room to make that kind of statement. The type of people that become teachers are often not the type of people who would want to even touch a gun. We don't ask police officers to teach kids to read, we shouldn't ask teachers to do police work.
Regina December 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM
And until you have been on a lock down drill with 25 five year olds you don't get to say what should happen in a school. I have, and they are often afraid even when it is a drill. My main job is to get them into a safe place, lock the doors, calm them down. That is my job. And believe me that is a BIG job! Until you have done it you don't get to say I should be carrying a gun as well.
katie December 19, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Regina - You are right it should not be REQUIRED for any teacher. That is asking for disaster. You are taking people that are uncomfortable, unfamiliar and unwilling and putting a gun in their hands. If you aren't willing to fire a gun you should NEVER even pick it up. That being said, we also can't send our teachers to a gun fight with a crayon and a stamp pad. I think that it should be optional (with supported and ongoing training) and would be especially helpful for support personnel that are comfortable with guns to be licensed, marksmen and have a gun in a secure location that can be accessed in case of a lethal emergency. For instance, if there is a maintenance personel, or security guard at the school, lets get those who are volunteering a chance to protect. There are many cases of gun violence in schools that have been stopped by principals / assistant principals that were carrying a gun. Both sides are looking for the same thing - a chance to protect our children.
The Missourian December 19, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Seems like asking someone to eat clorox to cure their stomach ulcer.
katie December 19, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Or should we quit funding studies on things like the amount of methane in a cow fart and put our childrens safety above THAT kind of spending? Our goverments (local and federal) waste more money than it would take to put a cop in every school.
yogurt December 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
so teachers should pay social security, even though the law won't let them? How is that the teacher's fault? They don't get the choice to OPT OUT, and cannot collect SS even if they paid into it for previous jobs.
CreveCoeurDad December 19, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Obamacare was found to be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, it was only found to be constitutional under the Taxation Clause. Be very careful in using the General Welfare clause that way, you'll quickly regret it. As you are trying to use it, nothing would then be unconstitutional if duly passed by Congress and then the whole concept of limited government and any rights you may have is gone. If not sure you really want that... "All those in favor of stoning PaulRevere is order to appease the rain gods and promote the General Welfare, say "I". The motion is passed, grab a rock. Sorry dude, it's not personal, it's for the General Welfare." Of course supplying a gun to a mentally ill person is/could be a crime, but you cannot prevent that same non-mentally ill person from owning a gun by virtue of the fact that they MIGHT give it to a mentally ill person they happen to live with. Perhaps they want it as protection from that same mentally ill person. You might be able to make a case that it is the mentally ill person who is prevented from living with a person who owns guns, but I doubt. Not all mentally-ill persons are violence prone and often times the mentally ill have no one else to live with other than a family member. You aren't going to gain much sympathy from the Court in requiring people who are caring for ill relatives to give up their civil rights.
Bradley Dee December 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM
I say this that the people and the Companies that support these weapons, buy these weapons, supply the ammunition for these weapons that killed all of these children, should be known as the Baby Killers. So if you want too stop, be a real protector of Children ,stop Buying these weapons, and grow up, or move to a Country that lets you play Baby Killer. Protect Children with Your Brain not a Bullet from a Baby Killer Weapon. One Day someone that you care form will Die from such a Weapon and You pulled the trigger because you supported these Companies and Clubs, and Politicians , because you needed to purchase a Baby Killer weapon that can Kill Children and your Love Ones.
PaulRevere December 20, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Bradley: Do you Drink? Do you ever take Drugs? Do you Own a Car? Now would you like to label every drunken driver or Pot smoking driver a "KILLER" if they actually Kill over 44,000 Adults and children a year.(All incorrectly labelled Auto Accidents) SHOULD CARS BE SUPPORTED? SHOULD ALCOHOL BE SUPPORTED? Not disagreeing with you. You have a good point. But, it is the "USER" of these weapons that Kill. According to your logic--The only way to stop "auto killings" is to BAN THEM---Stop buying them.
PaulRevere December 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
What can schools do to boost security? How about putting bullet proof vests on every child and teacher? How about Turning on a special smoke system that floods the halls into a complete inviisible smoke screen.. Like a water sprinkler system.
PaulRevere December 20, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Yogurt: The (Missouri)Teachers unions themselves got special waivers to not pay into soc sec.(??1980's). They Opted-Out. They have private pensions, proving that we all could retire with $80,000 pensions if we could ALL OPT-OUT of soc sec. It is not a Law. I think there are teachers in otrher states that DO belong to the soc sec system like all other workers in America. I speak only about MISSOURI's ELITIST Teacher Unions-- A Majority of who are out to retire 10 years earlier with CEO styled pensions that actually run 3X more than 99% of CEO's. All paid by the working middle-class in Missouri. I say their pensions should not be any more than comparable Social security workers get. That alone would substantially reduce Property taxes for every Parent and business in Missouri. It's our money , not theirs. Schools already have the money to boost security. It's just that our Greedy Unions are raking it off the top and stealing it from the KID's security. Just a 2% Teacher's pay cut would give all the security our Kid's need. That would show how much they CARE for the kid's. ($1.4mil in Mehlvile $800Thousand in Lindbergh) That buys a lot of security.
PaulRevere December 20, 2012 at 05:50 PM
CreveDad: Technically, a "Taxation clause" does not exist. The power of congress to "TO LEVY TAXES" does exist. That is where justice Roberts pinned obamacare. THE POWER TO TAX. Justice labelled it a tax, Not congress. But, that clause says congress has "The Power to Tax" to pay the "DEBTS OF THE US". (Note: TO PAY THE DEBTS OF US) Come 2014, there should be a whole new round of lawsuits. Why, Because Obamacare TAX would not be "Paying the DEBTS OF THE US" in accordance with the constitution. Congress, Levying a TAX to PAY OUR Personal medical expenses Hospitals, etc IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. Only U.S. owned Doctors and Hospitals can make that TAX constitutional--that is Truly Govt provided Health care. The same kind of Health care we all Tried in Missouri's City of St Louis. (CALLED CITY HOSPITAL) Remember That? Wait until 2014! Round 2 could be coming! Congress has it fully in their power to use a Tax for the "GENERAL WELFARE" of the country. I am not sure the welfare of any one individual was the intent of "Welfare clause". Another topic!
yogurt December 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Paul R--factually not close to being correct--the teachers pay 15% of their paycheck into their system---
PaulRevere's Mom December 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Now Paulie, I told you to get off this damn internet. When in the world are you going to get a job, and start paying rent for living in my basement?
JP December 20, 2012 at 07:22 PM
I have a 7 year old in second grade now and what happened in Newtown was horrific, but it is not the guns and ammo that kiiled these innocent kids and teachers. It seems to me that the one thing that is severly lacking in this country anymore is called COMMON SENSE. I don't know this family but if my child had this disorder I would not give him or her the combination to the gun safe. I think that ONLY the Principal and assistant principal should be saddled with the responsibility of being armed in case of an event like Newtown. Should they carry? Absolutely NOT. Can you imagine what might or could happen if a dedicated person within the school system was to carry a firearm each and every day. I believe they should have a combination lock box with a firearm inside. Every year they should have to take a mandatory firearm class.
PaulRevere's Mom December 20, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Very CREATIVE, Paulie. Now, get upstairs and CREATE ME a tuna salad sandwich. You TAX my nerves sometimes. TAX TAX TAX! I sometimes wish we wouldn't have tapped into the trust fund for private schooling, and sent you to PUBLIC SCHOOL instead! Then maybe you wouldn't feel so highfalutin and ENTITLED. AND we would have SAVED A LOT OF MONEY! Boy you TAX my nerves sometimes. TAX TAX TAX!
ReverePaul December 21, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I'm willing to bet none of PaulRevere's facts are right. He lied about his niece's salary so I didn't see any reason why these numbers should be accurate
Jason Gideon December 21, 2012 at 11:57 PM
There are teachers who can't even handle a new math program or reading initiative. Somehow you want them to become certified to handle a firearm? I would never give a teacher who can barely manage to use a Smartboard a handgun.
Jason Gideon December 22, 2012 at 12:08 AM
This isn't a gun problem, it's a human heart problem. If someone is truly dedicated to killing another person, they will find a way. A rental truck was used in the Oklahoma bombing. Do we now ban rental trucks? Kids drown in swimming pools. Do we ban swimming pools? Airplanes were used to kill thousands on 9/11. Do we ban airplanes? I've had a shotgun sitting in its case fully loaded and ready to go. I've watched it for years and it has never gotten up, walked off and killed someone on its own.
JD December 29, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Religion is a lot of things but an answer to this problem is not one of them


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