How Safe Are Our Schools?

My property taxes are going up. By a lot. Not the normal “life costs more every year” kind of way that I would expect. My taxes are doubling.

Why? Because a kid in Parkland walked into a school and killed 17 people.

The government is responding in typical fashion. Public buildings all over Florida are locking down. I work for the local government in a building that now has locked doors and a metal detector that all citizens must go through before they are allowed to enter (employees are able to enter without going through the metal detectors). My daughters’ school has hired 3 extra police officers to have on campus full time – that’s a total of 4. Every month the school practices what to do if a shooter comes on campus. At the elementary school they have changed all the door knobs on each classroom so that they can’t be unlocked. Only the teacher and the administration can open the doors.

All of this costs money and it has to come from somewhere.

I know it sounds like I’m complaining about the money. I’m not. My heart goes out to victims of violent crimes all over the country – not just those involved but also their loved ones. I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel if my kids were in that situation. I couldn’t agree more that something has to be done.

But are we doing the right thing?

This isn’t going to be another post about guns and whether anyone needs to be able to buy an AR-15 (I shared my opinion about the right to bear arms in the post Protect the Beaten and Oppressed with the Constitution). What frightens me is that we are building walls, thinking that we will keep those who want to hurt us far enough away so that they can’t. If they can’t get in the school they can’t shoot the people inside the school.

This masks the symptom without solving the problem. “Hey doc. My arm hurts when I lift it over my head.” The doctor replies, “Don’t raise your arm.”

We lock down our schools to protect our kids. “If someone comes into a school with a gun people will die.” The answer we’re given, “Don’t let guns in the school.” Simple, right?

But if someone wants to kill students and can’t get into the school they certainly have other options. They’re not going to back down just because we’ve locked the door. They’ll shoot kids through the fence as they’re walking between buildings, or outside for PE or recess. They’ll wait until the kids leave school and open fire as they get on the bus – or as the bus drives down the street. Even if we take away all guns, they won’t quit. They’ll build a bomb that can be thrown over a fence onto a building. They’ll find a way.

Because all we are really doing is forcing them to think of another way. And we underestimate them if we think they won’t.

We need to be addressing the root of the problem. I don’t have the answer. I wish I did. I think a drastic change in the way we approach education and social services will be necessary.

Yesterday I watched a video that got me thinking that real change is possible. Judge Pratt thinks about law in a way I believe speaks to the kind of change I feel is needed. Her passion for justice goes beyond enforcing the law. She seeks to fix the problem at the source, one defendant at a time.

She has a Ted Talk I want to look for but the interview I watched is below:

Procedural Justice by Judge Pratt

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “How Safe Are Our Schools?”

  1. It’s a typical government response… Let’s solve the problem with money because money solves everything. So wrong. And you are right about it forcing someone to just find another way! It’s just like their response to their so called ” opioid epidemic… Make it so difficult for someone who needs it to control their chronic pain which forces them to get it on the streets. Government and politicians don’t solve problems, they create new ones.

    Liked by 1 person

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