The discussion of safe schools is a relatively new phenomenon in education because of school shootings that started a little over 20 years ago when the first one began at Columbine H.S. Since then there have been 364 shootings resulting in the deaths of 554 students and staff and with 311,000 children having been exposed to gun violence at school. The latest occurred in the Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, TX resulting in deaths of 19 children and two staff; an analysis proved it to be a comedy of errors despite all of the knowledge that has been accumulated from the past.
Although schools are reportedly considered the safest place for students to be, it is only true historically, but not in the past 20 years.
With every such event, an analysis was always made to determine what, if anything could have prevented the tragedies and that’s where the emphasis has been—prevention, but obviously shootings have continued. What’s a contributing factor is the problem of bullying, a common problem in schools in which about 25% of students are bullied. Therefore, it is related to school shootings even though bullying has been a feature of schools since they began, yet the shootings did not take place until very recently so it’s hard to make a case that it is a cause. What is blamed repeatedly is the easy access to guns by the perpetrators, but that too has been true for many years.
The result has been that 43 states have passed legislation to have districts develop safe school plans, although reportedly 93% of schools have a plan, but a plan that collects dust on a shelf that most do, is not effective, but it does lead to complacency since there is a plan that no one is really monitoring day to day. In addition, there is no model for districts to copy.
Although a great deal has been learned, too often it has not been put into practice; actually, none of them deal with the crux of the problem: how to isolate and disable a shooter on site; rather, it’s all about prevention and some hardening of buildings with better door locks, cameras, more secure entries, etc., but still the shooters manage to get on site with 75% of them entering from the front entrance.
Despite the thinking of so many individuals to address the problem, a solution has still not been forthcoming, particularly the one that is most obvious, but has escaped all attention: how to use non-lethal self-defense systems both fixed and mobile.
Therefore, the purpose of this book is addressed to parents and policymakers to (1) become “educated” about all of the issues and problems involved with safe schools, (2) provide the numerous resources that are available that are free downloads and (3) to provide a non-lethal defense system to make it a shooter’s worst nightmare to enter any building so equipped; to date none have done so and arming staff is not a self-defense solution because it does not isolate the shooter that is really required for safe shooting.
The last 100 or so pages is a manual that details the specifics of such a plan that is mission possible in a format that can be printed separately for easy use.