As a student studying to become an elementary school teacher I have been shaken up by the tragedy a week ago. My dad and I were having a conversation about gun control and how to make the schools safe. The NRA said something like “let’s just post armed people inside the school” (don’t come after me, i’m aware that isn’t EXACTLY what they said). My dad thinks that specific teachers (and it shouldn’t be common knowledge of WHO) should have a concealed weapon and have gone through training. I personally HATE the idea of dropping my child off at school with an armed guard standing next to me as I kiss them goodbye.
Don’t get me wrong, I would do ANYTHING to keep my kids/ students safe and if that meant an armed guard then I wouldn’t abject.
But here’s some of my thoughts as to how we could keep school systems safe, WITHOUT making it feel like a maximum security prison. And I will say this, the majority of my ideas are geared towards elementary schools and I don’t know/ haven’t thought of how to apply them to the higher grade levels.
First off, (and some schools already have this system) when you approach the front door. You have to hit a buzzer, the security person can see you outside on camera and assess your body language and general appearance. If you seem fine, they let you inside to another set of locked doors. You give the security person your ID and they run a background scan on you. If you pass and still appear alright (body language and appearance up closer) you are given a brightly colored HUGE visitors ID badge on a bright lanyard that basically screams I AM A VISITOR.
Next, I think classrooms should each have their own bathroom inside. I know some kindergarten classrooms have that, but do it for all of them, and make the doors bullet proof. The kids don’t need to know it’s bulletproof but, if something happened, they could all hide in there and be safe.
Classroom doors should also not have huge windows on them as most do. They should have small windows with the class in which you can only see one way. Teachers can then see out but the person outside cannot tell what’s happening inside (and while we’re at it, lets make ALL the windows like that, i.e. to the outside).
Third have doors that are closed and locked automatically. But why not give all students and faculty ID badges like college students have for dorm rooms? Each students badge is given to them when they arrive at school (they cannot take them home). And the badges ONLY unlock THEIR classroom. Nothing else. Teachers badges would unlock the copy room etc etc. Young kids would LOVE that kind of gizmo, being able to unlock their door by swiping a card in front of a sensor.
And lastly, have one or two armed security guards who’s soul job is to patrol the school and make sure everything is running smoothly.
I don’t know, those are my thoughts as a future educator. I would love to hear what people think about my ideas (please be nice if you have criticism) . Let me know what you think, and RIP 26.