Last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) spoke to a group of community leaders in Danville, Kentucky. The subject was school security and what could be done to stop the recent spree of shootings.
“I don’t think at the federal level there’s much that we can do other than appropriate funds,” McConnell said. But he added that those funds could be sent back to the states for the purpose of improving school security, something he believes each district should direct.
His comments come six months after two Kentucky students were shot and killed at Marshall County High School. Just a few weeks later, 14 students lost their lives in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“It’s a darn shame that’s where we are but this epidemic is something that’s got all of our attention. And I know it’s got the attention of every school superintendent in the country.”
So what is happening around the country to improve school security? Here is a brief look.
Last month, Texas lawmakers were considering legislation that would arm more teachers and staff members. However, this move was met with resistance from parents and teachers who wanted to keep guns out of the school buildings.
While the legislature considered new laws, Governor Greg Abbott held round tables on school safety. Of the 120 people invited to the discussions, only one was a member of a school district police department.
Independent school police officers feel they should have a say in any new policies. After all, it would be their job to carry out the new policies protect.
Finally, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced that he donate metal detectors to the Santa Fe School District. The manufacturer, Garrett Metal Detectors, will also be donating the devices. Ten died in May during a school shooting in that district.
The metal detectors will be sued to fortify entryways at school buildings.
In Butler County, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hamilton School District has decided to allow trained school staff to carry firearms. SecurityInfoWatch.com reports that these staff members will primarily be former police or military personnel.
The school district also decided to begin using handheld metal detectors randomly on students.
While shootings are the over riding concern for the country’s school districts, it’s not the only type of violence happening in the buildings.
Philadelphia school unions demand action in June to protect school teachers and staff. There have been nearly 150 assaults on the staff by parents. “Some parents now think that it’s OK to assault the people charged with keeping their children safe,” said the president of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators.
The Lockport City School district is installing 300 new surveillance cameras in ten different school buildings. They will be tied to software that, using facial recognition technology, will be able to identify criminals, sex offenders and other people who have been denied access to the building.
But according to SecurityInfoWatch.com, the New York Civil Liberties Union is moving to block the installation of this system because of privacy concerns.
School Security: The Bottom Line
Education is not the responsibility of the federal government. But D.C. does have a responsibility to protect its citizens. So sending funding back to the states for use in bolstering school security is the right move. It allows individual districts to pick and choose the security improvements they need, ultimately making each school a safer place for kids.
If you have questions about hose to improve the security at your business, call American Security Force today at 855-722-8585.