02 June 2013

Save Our Children: Finally Talking School Safety

This article popped up about a two weeks ago in the local free throw-away newspaper here in Toronto. I've included it here in its totality. This is the first I have heard anything on the topic of school safety - aside from the useless anti-gun rhetoric - that looks like people are actually and finally thinking clearly.

The National Rifle Association was mocked for suggesting proactive action - when stating an obvious truth that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But 'proactive action' is what saves lives. Hiding and waiting for the police costs lives.
Ontario educators are being asked to consider using desks and tables to barricade doors or to evacuate students when intruders force their way into schools, following in the footsteps of U.S. schools where the guidelines are moving toward the three Ds: delay, deter and defend. 
The Ontario College of Teachers is holding a symposium Wednesday morning featuring two U.S. safety experts who say merely locking school doors and hiding under desks or huddling in one corner of the room during a crisis - measures typically taken in Canadian schools under a "lockdown"- makes teachers and students sitting ducks. 
"There's a pretty dramatic shift underway in the U.S., from the more traditional 'hide-out-and-hope-for-the best' sort of approach, which is what typically associated with lockdowns" where everyone waits for the police to arrive, said Amy Klinger, director of programs for the non-profit Educators' School Safety Network, who has worked with police chiefs and U.S. Homeland Security. 
"But if you look at past events - Columbine, Virginia Tech - events in the U.S. and internationally, a lot of the times they happen so quick that law enforcement can't get there in time." 
The shift in thinking in the U.S. started thinking about four or five years ago, said Klinger.
The thinking is "the three outs - get out, hide out or fight your way out," she added. "It started with the government and offices and adults, and now it is working its way down into schools.
It is about time that we begin thinking about school safety. Our public figures have armed security. Our celebrities have armed security. Our banks and our public arenas have armed security. Why is it that our most vulnerable of our society, our children, are sitting ducks?

Proper Focus is Key
A Columbine Survivor Tell President Obam to Man Up
NRA In Action [vs. Gun Banners' Inaction]
Active Shooters in Schools: The Enemy is Denial
NRA School Shield

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