School Safety

Recent school shootings have highlighted a deep concern amongst parents, students, teachers and administrators regarding their vulnerability to deranged individuals desiring to wreak vengeance or garner media attention to themselves. Everything that possibly can be done, SHOULD be done. There is no single solution which will guarantee that something terrible will never happen in Alabama, but by pursuing a number of common-sense policies, the chances can be greatly reduced.

The elements comprising a shooting incident involve the shooter, school facilities, fellow students, and security measures. All incidents involving troubled students need to be taken more seriously and assisted with more vigorous counseling services. All schools throughout the state need to be reviewed from an architectural standpoint to ensure entrances are minimized with controlled access. All ingress/egress points should be considered for alarm systems while ensuring emergency exits are available. A user-friendly system for students to report suspicions and concerns on fellow students needs to be available and acted upon promptly. And finally, an armed security guard or a minimum of one armed principal/teacher should be on the premises at all times, following strict guidelines for weapon containment, rules of engagement, and empowered to use appropriate force in neutralizing a threat to teachers and the student population.

Many will not be comfortable with some of these proposals but they should be included within the discussions for providing greater school safety.