Georgia Voices: Newtown fallout — No need to arm teachers
by The Macon Telegraph
December 20, 2012 12:00 AM | 2416 views | 5 5 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Evil is real and rampant in the world. That simple fact was made plain again Friday as news spread that evil broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in the small, quiet town of Newtown, Conn. and escaped with 28 lives, 20, children and eight adults, including the killer who extinguished the evil he held inside.

How do you make sense of a lunatic breaking into a school to kill 6 and 7-year-old children? There is no sense to make. Evil doesn’t have to make sense. Its job is to create chaos. School systems all over the country are coming to the realization that no matter what they do, there is no totally safe school. Schools are not prisons and we should not make them so.

Sandy Hook was more secure than most, visitors had to be buzzed in before the doors would unlock, That didn’t stop Adam Lanza from breaking into the school to loose evil and create havoc.That unfortunate reality that schools cannot be made totally safe does not give us an excuse to throw up our hands and do nothing.

A higher degree of safety does not lie in arming teachers and making school grounds into fortresses. We expect so much from teachers already. They are instructors, social workers, doctors, nurses and a myriad of other occupations. We should not add sheriff to that list.

What school systems across the country can learn from Newtown is that staff training works. Creating a safe school environment lies in training teachers and personnel about what to do if all hell breaks loose.

Aside from training we can make our facilities safer. Doors with glass at the main entrance areas are out. Surveillance cameras on the main doors are in, as are cameras at other access points. The ability to close off individual corridors of schools, using automatic gates, is an option to minimize the mobility of an attacker. And there are metal detectors.

To retrofit schools will cost money and superintendents in every school system in the country are already pinching pennies.

So will money get in the way of school safety? Yes. Once the heaviness of this latest tragedy eases, we will go about our daily lives, thinking that something so horrendous could never happen in our communities.

Newtown, Conn., didn’t think something so vile could happen there, either.
Comments
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Be Careful
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December 26, 2012
To: Teacher in Marietta,

So you are advocating doing NOTHING to enhance the protection of students at school?

If you do not want to be armed, I'm sure there are teachers in your school who would.

If there were a program to arm teachers, I'm SURE that the procedure wouldn't be to leave the gun in their desk, like the missing cell phones you mentioned.

You want to rely only on gun control laws.

Let me ask you something.

It's already illegal to commit murder. How's that working out?

It's illegal to drive drunk. Yet thousands die every year doing just that.

Certian drugs are illegal. That does nothing to stop people from buying and using and dying from drugs.

But make guns illegal and that will work??

Your lack of ability to think rationally scares me because you are supposed to be teaching our children.

I wish I could look you face to face when I ask this next question....

Would you rather die or at least try to defend yourself?

Reading your comments, it appears you do not want to defend yourself. And you don't want others around you to be able to defend themselves either.

Tell your fellow teachers you'd rather they die than have the ability to defend themselves.

You only want government legislated protection in the form of a law that you know criminals will ignore.
anonymous
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December 22, 2012
Simple fact world, we cannot stop bad things. Be ready to die, make sure your kids are ready to die, live as best you can, and expect bad things to happen. This shooting never once surprised me - not in the least. Kids, adults, mass numbers, I am not shocked in the least. It doesn't effect me because I know what people are capable of. Yes, it was awful, but my world was not shaken. So, keep up with the knee jerk reactions and plans, and you will be just as shocked when the next tragedy occurs. I for one will teach my kids not to be afraid, but to be aware. Learn to use tools (thats all a gun is - they do not have minds of their own), learn to watch people and how to react, and to be responsible. By the way, if a gunman approaches you, run around and throw things at them, any marksman will tell you a moving target is very hard to hit. And yes, you can teach a small child the same thing.
Teacher in Marietta
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December 21, 2012
I am a teacher in a middle school. I have no desire to arm myself. Several times a year a cell phone goes missing from a teacher's purse or desk--think about the implications should that be a weapon.

Also, fortifying entrances is ridiculous. Are we suggesting the students never go outside? What about PE, recess, use of the outdoor classroom? How would a hired security person or fortified doors protect the children when the 1000 students are dismissed to buses,cars, bicycles? We need stricter gun control now. America's love affair with guns has left us all with blood on our hands.
Be Careful
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December 20, 2012
So, you don't want to turn a school into a prison or fortress.....but you want doors with no windows, cameras and hallway blocking steel gates? Doesn't that sound prison like?

If you isolate a crazy person to one area of the school via automatically locking gates, you condemn all in that area of the school to death by locking them in with the madman.

Have you listened to the released 911 tapes from Sandy Hook? 18 students and a teacher were found in a closet. He found them and they all died. clearly, being trained to hide didn't work.

It would have been nice if the teacher in that closet had the ability to defend herself and her kids when he opened the door.

I will never understand the why some people think it's better to be a victim than to have the tools available to them to defend themselves.
anonymous
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December 20, 2012
As a responsible teacher with formal training in the U.S. Army - I know how and when to use a gun. Please change the policy so that I may protect our children from a madman.
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