Small Town Solutions to School Safety Issues
With the recent rash of school shootings and other rounds of violence, child safety has become a major concern of parents, even prompting some to enroll their children in alternative forms of schooling.
One of the major questions that has to be answered is, "how do we keep our children safe without going to far with metal detectors and random searches?". Not only do these measures invade students personal privacy, they are quite disruptive to the learning process, not to mention quite frightening for the younger children, and lest we forget, very costly.
In an economy that is still struggling to recover a costly solution is not the answer. The solution or at least part of one, may be simpler than you think.
In general teachers and faculty can do little to stop violence in the schools and resource officers are usually only present part of the time in schools. This has led many small town school districts to hire full time police officers to be present at schools. This is more likely to work in smaller school districts with fewer schools but having a paid officer on hand at all times works out better in the long run. For larger school districts, a rotation system could be put in place where officers rotate shifts within a given week at different schools within their jurisdiction. Not only would this provide a safer atmosphere for children, but in the event of an incident, it can be resolved without the need to call the police, sometimes multiple times.
An article from freebeacon.com highlights the increase in the use of armed security at schools.
There are a number of ways to help keep children secure, many of which we do subconsciously or we would do, if we thought about them. Security cameras on school buses have done a lot to document the violence that happens on school buses, but not a lot to stop it. One simple solution would be to have another adult on board the bus so as to monitor the children, after all, the driver does have to keep most of their focus on driving.
Having people present at bus stops and drop off points also goes a long way to stop violence. As simple as a few parents waiting nearby can deter a lot of bullying and other bad behavior.
To put it simply, we have to try actively to stop violence, we may never be able to prevent all of it, but we owe it to ourselves and our children to do as much as we can.