Self-defense initiatives in schools not enough to keep our kids safe

It appears newspapers are filled these days with stories of new attempts to protect our kids from predators.

Certainly it must have come as a shock to many when it was shown at Minnesota's Red Lake High that chain-link fences, metal detectors, video cameras, unarmed security guards, and "no-guns" signs didn't prevent tragedy. Can they honestly believe a bit of martial arts training or "conflict resolution" advice for dealing with bullies will work any better?

Lancaster Eagle Gazette: Students taught how to avoid becoming future attack victims

    Robert Meadows believes in preparing his students for the day when an attacker might choose them as victim. But what he hopes to pass along is far more than the ability to fight. During his eight-week course, called Kids in Karate or KIK, Meadows teaches a Korean style of fighting called Tae Kwon Do - the art of hand and foot fighting. Meadows said that one of the core elements of Tae Kwon Do is that it is for defense only. "You don't pick on somebody," he said. "It's for self-defense only." More than 100 students Thursday lined up across the stage inside Heritage Elementary School in Pickerington to listen to Meadows, a third-degree black belt, as he instructed them to focus on their education, bodies, minds and their trainers. With the increase in assaults on women, the director of the program, Grand Master Jon Stephens, requires each female student receive an additional portion of the curriculum.

Toledo Blade: Toledo: Officer specializes in bullying advice

    Armed with a computer slide show and a candid lecture, Officer Alessandra Norden visits area schools taking on the problems of bullying and harassment. Officer Norden, a police officer in Fulton County's village of Fayette, started her bullying prevention program about two years ago. She has spoken at dozens of schools about how teachers, bystanders, and victims should react to bullying. "Children are very stressed out because of bullies," she said. "If I can prevent the violence, I think we'll all have better lives."

This is all well and good, but does anyone really think this will help defend against students who are capable of crimes like Jeff Weise committed this week at Red Lake High?:
School Killer's Animated Terror: Minnesota teen posted bloody Flash film late last year

It is time to repeal restrictions passed during the Clinton administration that render security guards, teachers, parents and other school employees defenseless while in school zones. Neither taking guns away from these adults nor teaching elementary school students Tae Kwon Do is going to protect them against a person intent on killing. Passive security has failed. It's time to be aggressive about efforts keeping our kids safe.

Click on the “Read More…” link below for a letter to the editor on the subject.

Equip teachers with guns to protect students

Friday, March 25, 2005
Cleveland Plain Dealer

It seems that every school has increased security since the Columbine High School murders in 1999. I have seen the addition of locked security doors requiring an adult to be "buzzed in," ID cards and police or security guards in most of my children's schools. I thought the expense to me as a taxpayer was worth it, if my children were safer.

But this week in Red Lake, Minn., there was a shooting in a school that probably had all of those security measures. The alleged killer, Jeff Weise, shot the security guard first, then he shot 13 others. Students and teachers reportedly barricaded themselves in another room to keep him at bay.

I now can see that these security measures enacted since Columbine are at best window dressing and, at worst, nothing more than a placebo.

Is the solution a ban on so-called "assault weapons" or normal-capacity magazines? The anti-self-defense lobby would try to make you think so. The real causes of such tragedies, of course, are evil people who convince themselves that they can murder a group of defenseless people before being stopped.

It's time for us to follow the example of the nation of Israel and allow teachers, who are trained, to carry defensive handguns at school to truly protect our kids.

Daniel K. Lapp

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