Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Teachers' Views of School Security

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Teachers' Views of School Security

Article excerpt

The nation has been focused on school security since the tragic shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

How much security at schools can we justify and afford? That's a debate worth having. School police officers are posted at middle schools and high schools in Duval County. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says they will be patrolling elementary schools as well.

So we asked former and current educators in our Email Group to comment.

SCHOOLS AS FORTRESSES

Fortress schools, students in body armor and pistol totin' teachers are not good answers for school security. There are too many ways to kill.

Many killers are themselves students. The want, desire, the "need" to kill must be cut off at the root. How? We don't know a practical answer or answers, so we keep looking.

John David Tinny. Ponte Vedra Beach

MORE GUNS ARE NEEDED

Every adult should own a gun and be required to take training in how to use it, sort of like "driver education."

The pastor of a church where I once worked often carried a concealed weapon (legally) when he was in the pulpit. Also some of the church elders. I felt very safe. If someone came in and started shooting, they would shoot back!

Sandra Roberts, Fleming Island

MAYBE THIS IS NOT PREVENTABLE

There are no metal detectors, there is no forced route a visitor has to take into the office and there is no way a teacher can call a code red without telling the front office and having them do it.

Regarding arming staff: No, absolutely not. How can we teach kids about tolerance and peace if we are packing Colt 45s in our desk drawer? I also think the security risk of a student getting their hands on a teacher's gun would be too high.

No one is willing to chalk this one up to just being a really bad tragedy.

Jonathan Sokoloff, teacher, Jacksonville

HAVE WE COME TO THIS?

Schools are that last bastion of innocence, and it hurts the soul to think that our society has come to this. I think that a combination of securing the landscape, along with metal detectors (used in most charter schools) and perhaps a small group of armed personnel could deter some future criminal.

We can't protect ourselves from everything, but our children deserve our best.

Amber Mayes, retired assistant principal, Jacksonville

A FEW IDEAS

Teachers should not be armed. Security personnel could be classified as building monitors and even custodial personnel could be licensed and used.

It is important that there be visible evidence of school personnel present in hallways and entrances to each school.

Emergency means should be available to alert administrators, similar to that carried by elderly people in cases of emergency.

In fact, such items are inexpensive and could be carried by all employees in the school to alert school security and administrative personnel, even the district security office personnel. …

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