Schools doing their best to ensure safety
Another shooting at a school last week, this one way too close to home in Taft west of Bakersfield, once again brought to the forefront the issue of safety at local schools.
We are confident that all our local schools, like schools all across the nation, are doing all they can to make school campuses as safe as possible.
Even so, local school officials were quick to react Thursday in reviewing their policies and procedures. Already, schools are mostly locked down, with fences not only keeping students in, but intruders out. However, we cannot and should not make our campuses stockades. The public does deserve access.
Like vehicles, schools can never be made completely safe. Even the safest vehicle can fail, and even in Connecticut, where a gunman killed 26 people, safety measures were in place. At Sandy Hook Elementary, the school was fenced and locked, yet the gunman broke through the windows in the office and gained entry.
We are encouraged to hear that both Burton and Porterville Unified school districts are being proactive. Burton is reviewing its school designs to see if more can be done to make the campuses less accessible to people, and Porterville began this week a series of presentations on the police department’s Active Shooter Response Training Program.
Everything schools can do is good, but somehow, society has to deal with the cause of such violent acts to truly make students safe. The shooter in Connecticut was determined to do the carnage he did. We are sure parents and staff were fairly confident that school was safe. The Sandy Hook shooting is an example of someone who wants to commit such acts succeeding if they are determined enough.
Gun control is also being debated as a solution, but the real solution is to get at what is prompting these killers to act. We need to find a solution to stop the shooters before they act. It will be difficult and even that will be less than foolproof, but stopping the shooter before they pick up a gun is definitely better than keeping them out when they are armed.