Yet another school shooting. This time in Florida. Tongues are wagging in Washington D.C. and just about everywhere else: we need to do something, we don’t need to do anything, it’s guns, it’s neglected kids, locals are saying we all missed the warnings. There is no shortage of opinions, just solutions. And whether or not it’s spoken aloud, it’s on everyone’s mind: when and where will this happen again?
All schools are vulnerable to this type of abhorrent incident. Schools should be a place of inclusion and accessible to students, families and neighbors, yet we all want our schools, where our kids spend a great deal of time, to be safe and secure. Armed guards? Armed faculty? Walls and barbed wire? Metal detectors? It’s a tough needle to thread: we all want schools to open and accessible, yet we need to make them safe.
Answers to this issue won’t be found here sadly, just more questions.
- Has your school preformed an in-depth risk assessment of your security protocols?
- Have you ever examined your school’s culture – a thorough examination to take a good look at it on a DNA level?
- Can access to fire alarms somehow be restricted to faculty and staff by a key fob maybe, or is that against fire codes?
- Maybe local fire codes need to be examined as well?
- Are you engaged with your school community enough to hold open forum on this sensitive topic?
- Your school and your school community, are they attuned to potential issues?
- Are you taking steps to educate your school and your school community on procedures to follow in the event warning signs present?
- What are the signs?
Just more questions, no solutions. We all need to ask the questions – ask the right questions. Collectively we can come upon the answers. There isn’t just one answer though, but one thing is certain, the status quo just can no longer be the rule.