This week President Trump hosted lawmakers for an hour-long discussion at the White House. The topic: School security and restricting gun sales. The conversation came as a result of the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida where 15 lost their lives.
Reuters.com reports that the President is looking for a comprehensive plan: “You have to be very, very powerful on background checks. Don’t be shy,” he said.
School Security Being Increased
Schools around the country are also toughening up their security in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
The Union Area School District in Western Pennsylvania is putting new processes in place to address how visitors enter and exit school buildings. The district is also adding new student pick-up and drop-off systems and will use metal-detecting wands periodically.
The district’s Superintendent says the Parkland tragedy has sped up their timeline.
The EveningSun.com reports that the Southwestern School District is hiring additional security guards. The board voted this week to add six more guards. Right now, the district in eastern Pennsylvania only employs one. The superintendent hopes to have at least one unarmed guard at each of their buildings.
The Miller Place Union School District on Long Island, New York has hired four armed security guards. They began working at each of their four schools this week. Each is a retired NYPD officer and will work beside the 14 other unarmed security guards already employed by the district.
Guards: Part of the Community
Increasing school security does not mean a locked-down, prison-like environment will be created. In fact, it’s been shown on multiple occasions that security guards can become integral members of a school’s community.
Consider the beloved Kifleab Tekle. He retired from the Hockaday School near Dallas, Texas in 2016. He worked there as a security guard for 30 years.
Tekle was described as being, “the heart and soul of Hockaday,” and the “Hagrid of their Hogwarts.” Students and alumni remember his sense of humor, his jokes and his smile.
When the word of his retirement spread, a GoFundMe page was started that raised $150,000 for his retirement!
It’s a similar story for LaDonna Vaughn. She works at the Hazlewood North Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. The school’s students call her “Granny.”
Vaughn is known for her tough love approach with them and can be heard telling the boys and girls to “Make good choices.”
Students who have moved on to high school regularly return to Hazlewood North to thank Granny Vaughn for her “tough and tender” guidance.
The Bottom Line
The Parkland shooting has shown a bright light on the inadequacies of school security. If any good can come from this tragedy, it will hopefully be that lawmakers and school officials will finally take steps to comprehensively address the causes behind these events.
Adding security guards, armed or unarmed, are just one step to a larger solution. Their placement in schools should not be viewed with fear. Security guards are caring, loving people, too. They can become important, influential and memorable members of any school community.
If you want to learn more about adding security guards to your facility, call American Security Force at 855-722-8585.