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I have been talking to anyone who will listen about ideas to improve the safety of our schools. I collected a short list, so far just five ideas. Here are their ideas and some arguments pro and con.
1. Anyone who comes onto a school campus without authorization has to spend a 72-hour observation period with the police. Do you see any drawbacks to this?
2. Have a K-9 officer at all schools. Good points: Kid-friendly guard dogs and their handlers offer a positive contact for students. Dogs easily sniff out guns. Bad points: Kids with allergies will be left out of friendly interactions. Guard would still have a gun which may signal danger to students. K-9 officers already have extra training and the dogs will need extra training also. This is a fairly large expense and should the school districts or law enforcement agencies pay for this?
3. Improve our mental health care system. So far, no one against, but what form will this take? And this will be a major expense.
4. Have campus cameras with a guard room full of camera screens and an armed guard observing constantly. Current campus monitors would also be watching as they have been and updating the guard in the room. This would keep the armed guard out of children’s sight. Bad points? The armed guard would also be out of a nutcase’s sight.
5. Stop arguing about guns. That question should be left to a less emotional time. We do need to keep our focus on school safety.
Most of the people that I talked to would say that the problem is school safety and mental health.
A letter from Ashley Blinn started me thinking about this. We need to concentrate on school safety right now. I think both school safety and mental health. Oh yes, Mr. Blinn, if you want me to join you, maybe you could stop being snarky about my place on the evolutionary scale. Then all of us can get together and solve this problem. After the problem is solved, Mr. Blinn, maybe you can come play peashooters (shoot guns) with us. Just not at each other and not at school.