To the Editor: Ideas offered to improve school safety
Written by Mark Barbour   
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 09:07
As a parent, I am extremely disturbed by the senseless tragedy that recently occurred in Connecticut. I have a couple of "outside the box" ideas to address the issue of school security and keeping our children safe from armed individuals with evil intent.
First, it should be a requirement that all administrators and teachers and other school employees be trained in self-defense and specifically, how to neutralize an armed assailant. This might give the teachers and administrators more of a "fighting chance" and would likely reduce the damage done if any situation did occur. I realize that funding for this would likely be almost impossible to obtain in the current economic climate, so this training could be conducted on a volunteer basis by current or former law-enforcement or military personnel. I would be willing to volunteer for this duty, as I'm sure would many others.
Second, all outer doors at all schools should be locked during the school day, and the office should have to "buzz in" any visitors after they identify themselves and their business at the school. The new Otsego building already has this system in place. Obviously, the drop-off/pickup times would require a different solution, which would also have to be addressed.
Third, all schools should have security personnel in place. Again, funding would be an issue, so we could rely on current and former military and law enforcement personnel to serve in this capacity. At the very least, each building should have what could be called a "greeter" at the main entrance at all times to monitor who enters and exits the building. Parent or grandparent volunteers could serve in this capacity, and should also be trained in threat assessment and self-defense. A 2-way radio or walkie talkie should be provided to the "greeter" for quick communication with the school office.
School officials and law enforcement do their very best to prevent school violence and protect our children, and should be commended for their efforts. However, more needs to be done, and this could be addressed with more community involvement.
Mark Barbour

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