For the Record: What measures should be taken to make schools safer?
Each week, The Park Record asks For the Record, encouraging residents and visitors to weigh in on a topic of interest. Recently, The Park Record detailed training the South Summit School District recently held, teaching staff members how to defend themselves and their students if an active shooter enters a school.
For the past two years, the district has worked with Fight Back Nation for training on how faculty members can attack and disarm an active shooter without using firearms themselves. All teachers are required to go through the training and drills, and students above the age of 16 can volunteer to participate. Teachers said the trainings were jarring, but helped them gain confidence in knowing what to do should an emergency arise.
We asked people in the community what measures they view as important to increase safety and preparedness in schools. Comment with your own answer below, or consider sending a letter to the editor.
David Jawgiel, Old Town
“Well, there haven’t been any school shootings here. And part of that is we don’t have tight gun control. A shooter isn’t going to shoot somebody that they think has a gun. Just keep it going with (concealed carry). I support the right to defend yourself and keep the right to bear arms, but do it responsibly.”
Martina Lussy, Lake Placid, N.Y.
“I am not for armed guards. I am for doors being locked at all times and having to ring into the school. (At my children’s school,) they had a camera and you had to identify yourself and then had to get a visitor pass. Every parent knew there were only two doors you could get into.”
Heather Hall, Pinebrook
“I’ve sat through (active shooter) trainings and it really makes you think differently about things. I think it’s sad that (schools) have to be on the defensive and worrying about that at all. I think their focus should be on education and it makes me sad that’s the position they’re in. Teachers shouldn’t have to consider arming themselves.”
Karen Bettis, Park City
“I feel we don’t treat our school the way we would a courthouse or an airport or any building that has something precious. I don’t think (schools) take appropriate measures but yet they continue to go after gun control. I think they need to be very clear on internal safety.”
Susan Vickery, Pinebrook
“I don’t really know what to do because it doesn’t seem to be working. I feel like they need more school security on who comes on campus. Maybe have a gated school, though that still wouldn’t keep a student with a gun from coming in. Maybe more (school resource officers) that can help the students.”
Chris Carson, Dillon, Colo.
“Nationally, I would suggest greater gun control would probably the first step I would recommend. In a preventative sense, schools have been proactive in establishing protocols and practicing lockdown drills, and I think child safety is first and foremost in people’s minds.”
Quotations have been edited for clarity and length.
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