Latest school shooting has Ohio superintendent fuming: "We have the answer, but they don’t want to listen.”
“When the hell will people wake up!? Police can’t and won’t get there in time. We have the answer, but they don’t want to listen.”
A school superintendent was hurt and angry at the breaking news and was calling me to vent. His school authorized him to carry after the Sandy Hook massacre. He attended FASTER (Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response) training and they have expanded their program with additional volunteers. He is personally hurt that any adult in charge of children has not yet learned the lessons and enacted changes to active killer procedures. They are failing in their basic duty to protect children from foreseeable danger.
Another child killed at school. More with life threatening injuries. Many more with life-long emotional scars. Another multi-jurisdictional police response. Impressive footage on TV screens, but it was too late to save anyone. As is typical, the school staff and students lived and died based on events in the school, not outside response.
Jayden Eugenio, a 17 year-old student at Marysville Pilchuck high school in Washington is quoted as saying, “I was shaking. You would never believe this would happen in your school.”
This is a simple comment. Maybe it’s the voice of innocence. Or maybe it’s a damnation of school preparedness.
Has the school run active killer drills this year? Did they involve police, fire, and medical personal? Do they have a single point of contact for students, staff and parents to voice security concerns? Do they have locked doors and single point entry? Have they implemented ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) training?
Did they have a school resource officer in the building? Are local police trained in solo entry or are they still using the outdated quad/diamond/wedge procedures? Did the school employ any armed security? Do they authorize staff to carry?
Did the school board and superintendent adequately prepare for reasonably foreseeable dangers? Or did they “believe this would never happen” at their school? Have they followed the advice of leading experts on school violence like John Benner and Dave Grossman? Or are they in denial?
The media is unlikely to find answers to these basic questions, but every parent should be asking those questions to their school leaders. We all have busy lives, but we need to be asking tough questions of our school board members.
No one ever expects a person contemplating murder to come to their school, church, workplace or community. Yet we are no longer shocked that it happened somewhere again.
Like a seat belt in a car accident, we don’t “expect” to need it, but we know we might. Defensive driving is not paranoia, its common sense. Preparing for violence should be no different and those who mock being properly prepared for the thing most likely to kill children in school should not be in charge of their defense.
Another school superintendent told me, “I was a principal when Columbine happened. It was very emotional for me. I remember feeling totally unprepared should an event like that happen at our school.”
He and staff from each of his district’s schools have attended FASTER training. Some attended the Level II class a few months ago. Commenting on his perspective of news of the latest school killing he calmly said, “I know no one is completely prepared for one of these events, and I pray we never have one. We now have people with training and tools in place. I know we can quickly stop a killer and deal with the situation and our children are safer because we are as prepared as we can be.”
What is the attitude of your school? Do they prepare for the worst, or just hope “it would never happen?” If your school leaders have not taken the time to attend a Dave Grossman seminar, encourage them to attend the “Protecting our children in school” session at the OSBA Capital Conference* next month.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Foundation President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."
*Buckeye Firearms Foundation and John Benner will be presenting at the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) Capital Conference in November. If your superintendent is still opposed to real security in your school, have him or her stop by our booth and talk to us. We will be presenting “Protecting our Children at School” on Tuesday, November 11th at 3:45 p.m.