Submitted by Paul Nimmo.
Every parent’s worst nightmare… the report of a school shooting. It has been over 20 years since the Columbine shootings. Unfortunately, school shootings and violence have continued, if not escalated. The safety of our youth comes into question after each incident. Two things are conversation pieces after such a tragedy.
Little has been done regarding gun control. A spattering of laws that have done little to control those seeking access to weapons.
The other topic is always school operational safety. This had led to many changes. New school designs have taken security to a new level. Gone are the California Campus designs of the 60’s. Now, large attractive, yet secure buildings, sporting cameras and limited access points are being built. Safe rooms and other products have been developed just for schools. Many older schools have been or are being remodeled with security in mind. Metal detectors and other screening tools are more readily accepted and available. Schools built without lockers or restrictions on jackets and even backpacks. Training for staff has also been developed and redeveloped after each new situation.
In 2018, after another rash of school shootings, the conversations continued but even went as far as to introduce whether Teachers (trained of course) could or should be armed. An overwhelming cry went out to keep the weapons in the hands of the professionally trained personnel… Police Officers. School Districts who had not utilized School Resource Officers were scrambling to find funding, and those that already knew of their importance looked to increase their presence.
Until now… Several School Districts have made overtures towards ending the use of School Resource Officers. How quickly we forget. I can only hope that the Clover Park School District looks at all the positives that School Resource Officers bring to the District.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.