by Ian D Scofield
School shooting after school shooting has left our nation devastated. The fact that recent shootings are limited to schools, there is an even bigger urge to protect our kids. Neighborhood shootings like the recent NJ arts festival shooting have fueled the need to protect our kids. But how have schools gone about this? Around the United States different districts have taken different measures to protect their kids.
Today I have provided some research into school security trends that are sweeping the nation so that your departments can better help your local districts.
For ages New York and other big city schools have used metal detectors to protect their students against gang violence. Now those metal detectors are used to protect them from a wide variety of violence. Schools of all sizes around the nation have been installing metal detectors to find guns before an incident happens.
Supporters of metal detectors in school even admit that they aren’t a cure-all. They are part of a comprehensive approach to tackling school violence. A metal detector will curb school violence significantly but it won’t completely eliminate it.
Another big trend sweeping the nation is to ban backpacks from schools. The logic behind this move is that students can’t conceal weapons if they don’t has space to do so. For certain school levels, banning backpacks could prevent students from hiding firearms. Smaller kids, such as those in elementary school and middle school don’t have the body mass to hide a gun. There is always the exception to that of course.
However, high school students can often successfully hide a gun on their body. Whether in their waistband, pocket, ankle, and many other locations. In fact, for many gun carriers, they want to have their gun ready to use. They don’t want it in their backpack.
While banning backpacks might prevent a small number of school shootings, it isn’t anything close to a guarantee. It also counteracts recent products meant to keep students safe. Companies like DFNDR Armor (https://www.dfndrarmor.com/everyday-armor-2/) and Bullet Blocker (http://www.bulletblocker.com/bullet-proof-safety-products-and-body-armor-for-students.html) are just two of the companies crafting bullet proof backpacks for kids.
As law enforcement officers you know how important training is. This is even true for schools. Students and teachers can be trained how to properly respond to an active shooter event. School staff and students can be taught how to properly react during an active shooter event, from where to hide, how to fight back, to how to secure themselves somewhere.
A person who knows what they are doing during an incident is far less likely to become a victim. It is a sad truth, but an active shooter event can happen anywhere. Sometimes the difference between being a victim and a survivor can come down to whether you are prepared to handle the situation.
We don’t know every reason behind what causes school shootings but we know some of them. Using what we know about the causes of school shootings, we can work to eliminate them. Stopping each one of the problems before they become a life threatening issue.
Bullying is responsible for a portion of school shootings. It is also responsible for a number of student suicides. Why not combat two problems at one time? Taking bullying seriously and working with schools when a bullying incident occurs can help to keep our kids safer. In the end, bullying doesn’t just affect the victim. It affects all people who are involved and witness it.
A large portion of school shootings comes down to mental illness. A good portion of kids may not even know that they are experiencing mental health conditions or how to cope with them. Addressing these issues when noticed can help to end school violence in general. Unfortunately, mental illness still comes with a big stigmatization that makes diagnosing and treating mental illness difficult.
Drugs and other substances occasionally play a role in school shootings. They are not a major cause but they do account for some shootings or are a contributing factor. Our students shouldn’t be abusing substances at such a young age anyways. Eliminating substance abuse in minors can further work to combat school shootings.
These are just three of the causes behind school shootings. Current trends are to identify the causes behind school shootings and work to eliminate them. Eliminating the various causes behind school shootings isn’t as easy as it sounds and it can take a lot of work. It also takes a lot of research and analysis. As we continue to work on programs to eliminate the causes, we can further better our schools.
For a long time, people didn’t want to believe that schools were soft targets. Despite the fact that security was becoming a bigger concern everywhere else in life, schools were taking only small steps towards increasing their security. That has changed.
School administrators and local government officials are now acknowledging the threat. This goes a long way towards combating school shootings. If you deny a threat exists, then you can’t prepare for it and be ready when it happens. That doesn’t mean that you have to give in to it happening.
Taking all of the steps that you need to in order to prevent school shootings is part of acknowledging the threat.
School shootings are one of the nation’s biggest problems. They threaten our children and our future. As law enforcement officers you play one of the biggest roles in preventing these shootings. Hopefully these trends will help you to better understand the current state of school security. Further, try to come up with your own ideas. Find places where the current trends could change and be improved.
Stay safe out there.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.