Despite the horrific nature of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, where 26 lost their lives, a comprehensive school security plan has yet to be implemented across nationwide. Many districts have added security protocols but gaps remain. As you will see below, the threat of violence at our schools is still with us.
Creating a Kill List
Just this week, it was reported that two 13-year-old students at the Sabin Middle School in Colorado Springs had created a “kill list” of students and faculty that they wished to “punish.”
Their plans were discovered after the two had been messaging online. As a result, police obtained search warrants and confiscated several weapons.
While authorities were able to thwart an attack in this instance before it happened, that’s not always the case.
Who Is Responsible?
Consider the confusing story of 15-year-old Sophomore Caleb Sharpe who attended Freeman High School in Washington State. On September 16, he shot four students, killing one, Sam Strahan. The date is significant because it was his first day back after being suspended for passing notes and writing that he planned to do “something stupid.”
One of the notes made its way to the school counselor and Sharpe was suspended. He could not return to school until he passed a mental health evaluation, which he did.
When Sharpe started shooting, Strahan confronted him and was shot twice. Sharpe, who just turned 16, could be tried as an adult as he faces first-degree murder charges.
While the school followed their school security protocol to the letter, something still went wrong and the situation leaves those in the Freeman High School community wondering who is responsible.
Weapon Went Undetected
Unbeknownst to a little girl at Cunningham Elementary School in Turlock, California, she brought a gun to school in her backpack. There was no ill intent on her part. One of her parents used the backpack to store the loaded semiautomatic weapon during a recent trip and forgot about it.
But, the fact remains that the firearm went undetected by the school until sometime discovered it around 1:00pm. Had another student smuggled a weapon into the school with malicious intent, this story might have ended very differently.
A Comprehensive School Security Plan is Needed
While many schools have protocols in place, they are not comprehensive and gaps exist. Professionals from a number of specialties – education, law enforcement, mental health, security and members of the IT community – need to come together to talk through solutions that will close school security gaps and better protect our children.
American Security Force is proud to support our schools and remains available to discuss security matters with public and private entities at any time. Call us at 877-722-8585.