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Old 12-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #61
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Background checks would not have stopped what happened yesterday. That is not what they are for. Having classrooms that are more secure is great, but a person could know when the kids switch classes, go to lunch, go to gym class etc. Then there is the kids who are outside and vulenerable at lunch. What if this tradegy occurred bc the gunman got accessed to the cafeteria etc. No where to hide there.

And not all schools can provide other exits from the classrooms, we have two floors and two wings. Cant get the kids out from a second floor very easily. Plus the money to provide an alternate exit would once again be too much for some schools.

If this guy was determined to hurt kids and others he could have waited for the kids to be outside leaving school, at lunch outside playing, he could have shot at windows etc.
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Old 12-15-2012, 04:51 PM   #62
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Yes, one of my son's elementary schools was the same way. I really liked that design, because it meant you could escape from multiple points. Most of the school yesterday could have evacuated immediately if they were in a setting like that.
Even if they had ways to evacuate the school, it most likely would not have happened.

Most lock-down procedures do not call for outside evacuations because you never know who or what is waiting outside.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Mkrop View Post
Background checks would not have stopped what happened yesterday. That is not what they are for. Having classrooms that are more secure is great, but a person could know when the kids switch classes, go to lunch, go to gym class etc. Then there is the kids who are outside and vulenerable at lunch. What if this tradegy occurred bc the gunman got accessed to the cafeteria etc. No where to hide there.

And not all schools can provide other exits from the classrooms, we have two floors and two wings. Cant get the kids out from a second floor very easily. Plus the money to provide an alternate exit would once again be too much for some schools.

If this guy was determined to hurt kids and others he could have waited for the kids to be outside leaving school, at lunch outside playing, he could have shot at windows etc.
Exactly. He could have waited for recess. Buzzers, locks, background checks..none of that will do anything except make some parents feel better. If a pyscho is determined to do something like this, they will do it. It's horrific and heartbreaking but I hope the day never comes where teachers are armed in our schools.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #64
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When dd14 was in elementary school in 5th grade they were put on lock down from another student in which police had to be called. Prior to this they had drills so they knew what to do. She is now in 9th grade and I have no faith in her school because a student pulled a gun on another student in the bathroom. School was never put on lockdown. The guy left the school was seen leaving and even then no lockdownwhereas in other neighboring cities if someone is spottted with a gun near a school automatic lockdown. Since then still no drill just a couple random searches. There are no huge metal det2ctors they just have wands but only used them a couple timeson a random bus. Kids left the bus got into gym and they wanded over back packs. The school has 1 door that peope can go through after school is in then a security guard to sign you in.there are also trailer classrooms that are easy targets. The ones who survived will always remember what happened you should feel safe at school,work and home. I can't imagine sending my kid to school and her not coming home. Parents aren't supposed to bury their kids.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:12 PM   #65
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Really? You must not have young kids in school. It would take very little money to beef up the doors in each school. Worth it to me.
I thought he was speaking about the safe rooms underneath the school, the interior courtyards for recess, etc. That I think is just not feasable.
My high school had a courtyard, and my children's middle school has one too--there is no way they are big enough for recess for hundreds of kids.

My kids' elementary school where I work part time was built in the early 1930s.
The "new" wing was built in the 50s. It's built on a hill, so 2 stories inthe front, 3 stories in the back. The PreK, K, 1st and 2nd grades, and 2 of the 3rd grade classes could escape out a window. The other 3rd grade class and the 4th and 5th are up too high.

I work in the office and I would love for them to have a holding room of a sort between the outside doors and doors into the rest of the building, but they just have the outside doors.
A friend of mine is a teacher and her school has that--though it's a half wall and the rest is glass, not bulletproof, so that's still not 100%.

The classroom doors are wood with a window. Old. I think they are probably the original doors with newer locks.

The gym doors don't even lock. I was in there when we had a lockdown drill a couple of months ago and I told the principal that if kids are in there(it is directly at the end of the main hall, right down from the main office) and something happened, there's no way to stop anyone from coming in.
He said he knew and he had told the administration, but nothing happened..and it's still that way.

I sincerely hope that changes and I will bring it to the superintendents attention myself if it doesn't.

The lockdown procedure is to pull the shades on the door, lock it and get the kids away from the door and into the back of the classroom.


The kids eat lunch in their classroom(no lunchroom) and I also am a lunch supervisor in a 4th grade class, and every day, as long as it's not raining or under 40 degrees, we take the kids out. 400 kids outside at the back of the school, spread out over 4 fields and a blacktop, wide open, not a fence, nothing.
What are we going to do though? Keep the kids locked inside all the time? Even if it was fenced in, people could shoot through a fence.

I think we just have to take realistic precautions(like steel doors, like a holding area between outside and interior doors)and just pray that our children remain safe.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:37 PM   #66
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It could have been a lot worse. During dismissal, half the staff and all the kids are outside, either waiting in the carpool line or walking to their bus. The fact that the shootings were isolated to the office area and 2 classrooms is amazing. From what I heard, the time from when the shooting was first reported until it ended was 2 minutes. It could have been a lot worse.

We have doors to the courtyard in our classrooms(PreK/K classes) but the courtyard is inside the area that is fenced in. If we got out the door, we would still be trapped on school property.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:15 PM   #67
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A group of teachers discussed after school that this might change schools forever. No more parent volunteers, no more visitors without searches or background checks. It's something to think about.
That doesn't make any sense at all.

None of that would have mattered for any of the mass school shooting in the US.

Mad man walks and starts shooting. None of them have tried to 'sneak' in.

My daughters elementary school locks the doors during non dismissal hours. While it's good to limit access, only a fool would think it will stop any of these madmen from getting in.

First of all, the schools have windows. What are we goign to do? Change them all to unbreakable glass/lexan? I laugh at the "buzz in" policy at her school. I could just break the glass and unlock the door myself if I were so inclined.

Second, why wouldn't a shooter just wait for arrival, recess or dismissal if that was done?

Visitors or parent volunteers. I'm not aware of single parent volunteer ever shooting (or stabbing) a student while they were volunteering.

Knee jerk reactions and lack of thought and logic are why madmen continue to have success murdering our children.

I do like the background check for volunteers and I'm not sure any school has volunteers nowadays without giving them checks. My sleepy little town does.

As to the security guard or cop, first one to be shot. Columbine had armed security and that didn't work out.

Arming those teachers and faculty that want to be armed is the only solution. Israel figured it out decades ago and ended mass shootings in school, there hasn't been a successful one since the 70's.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It's time to do the right thing and let people defend themselves and in this case, our children too.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:56 PM   #68
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First of all, the schools have windows. What are we goign to do? Change them all to unbreakable glass/lexan? I laugh at the "buzz in" policy at her school. I could just break the glass and unlock the door myself if I were so inclined.

The front door at my kids' school has only a small window up high. You wouldn't be able to reach the release mechanism. On the downside, that makes it nearly impossible to see OUT, so everyone is pretty much buzzed in automatically.


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Second, why wouldn't a shooter just wait for arrival, recess or dismissal if that was done?
Recess, yes. And not that these murderers are rational, but arrival & dismissal means lots more adults on the scene, some of whom *may* be armed - most of whom are concerned with the well being of their own child first, not charged with protecting an entire class. So, I think an intruder could potentially face a lot more resistance during arrival & dismissal.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:03 AM   #69
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Most schools have multiple entrances/exits. I am thinking of my DS9's school and there are several, none that a person determined to get in and they could shoot out a door, it would not hold them back. It would slow them person down to have them locked.

There are gym doors, cafeteria doors, alternate entrance doors, maintenance doors. All schools are vulnerable. I have been in enough with kid's playing sports to notice that most would not have prevented what happened on Friday from happening.

Recess is a very vulnerable time for our kids. We have these little weeny chains that keep people out. The heating guy moved them the other day and started to drive back with kids playing, the lunch monitor had to quickly run over there to stop them and tell them to come back.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #70
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If a shooter is determined to do this he'll get in, and I'm sure none of us want our kids' schools to turn into maximum security prison like structures.

I believe the solution is to pay attention to people and get them help. I refuse to believe that his mom didn't have any idea that he was sick, why on earth did she keep guns at home? Was he seeing a therapist, on medication? Until we destigmatize mental health and have open honest conversations when loved ones are in trouble this will continue to happen.

Yesterday a friend of DS was sending him some scary texts, DS was upset and eventually told me. I called the kids mom, and while I can't know what she was thinking or feeling, her response was not what I expected. She was incredibly nonchalant and she basically said " that's weird, he's been fine here, oh thanks have a good day". I hope that was just her cover because when your kid says he hopes everyone dies and he's going to break the glass and stab himself that's a little more than "weird".
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:26 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Gumbo4x4 View Post
The front door at my kids' school has only a small window up high. You wouldn't be able to reach the release mechanism. On the downside, that makes it nearly impossible to see OUT, so everyone is pretty much buzzed in automatically.




Recess, yes. And not that these murderers are rational, but arrival & dismissal means lots more adults on the scene, some of whom *may* be armed - most of whom are concerned with the well being of their own child first, not charged with protecting an entire class. So, I think an intruder could potentially face a lot more resistance during arrival & dismissal.
Have you ever been at a high school at dismissal time with 1700 students rushing to make the bus, get to their car or just head out to walk home? It is pretty chaotic. Someone with a gun could do a whole lot of damage in a very short period of time. The lobby is completely full of people, it's hard to get there when you have to break up a fight.

Sure there are staff and parents there, but what exactly could they do? After school we have an attendant in the parking lot. There are at least two monitors (usually more) in the lobby. The police liason office is either out front or in the lobby. Generally all three assistant principals and a good number of teachers in the lobby area as well. The only person who is armed is the liason officer.

Now imagine even half of the staff being armed - makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

They way things are now, school security is a complete illusion. The events of Friday proved that again.
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #72
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Have you ever been at a high school at dismissal time with 1700 students rushing to make the bus, get to their car or just head out to walk home? It is pretty chaotic. Someone with a gun could do a whole lot of damage in a very short period of time. The lobby is completely full of people, it's hard to get there when you have to break up a fight.

Sure there are staff and parents there, but what exactly could they do? After school we have an attendant in the parking lot. There are at least two monitors (usually more) in the lobby. The police liason office is either out front or in the lobby. Generally all three assistant principals and a good number of teachers in the lobby area as well. The only person who is armed is the liason officer.

Now imagine even half of the staff being armed - makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

They way things are now, school security is a complete illusion. The events of Friday proved that again.
I'm just saying that from the perspective of one who might plan such an event, the potential for resistance would be much greater with more adults around - even HS aged students would be a much bigger potential deterrant than elementary aged children and an unarmed & in this case an apparently all female staff. And yes, the threat of a potentially armed staff could be a deterrant as well, at least from the lone gunman POV. Not so much with a bomber, probably
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #73
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I live in a town much like Newtown; sleepy, family oriented, people rarely lock doors.

However, the school district takes multiple safety measures.

All parent volunteers must go through a background and fingerprint check before they are allowed in the classroom.

Schools have all doors locked and visitors can only enter by the front door. They ring the bell, office has both video and direct vision of person at door, they unlock door.

We have regular fire, lockout and lock down drills.

However, all this can be moot as Sandy Hook also had brand new security system with locked doors, etc. The shooter apparently forced his way in.
Unfortunately even if he had been a volunteer, no background check would have helped because he had no prior history. While I wholeheartedly believe in having background checks, they only work if the person has already been caught.

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From what I understand, the shooter shot out the windows in the door to gain access to the windows. You would need a building with no windows or with bars in order to have stopped him. As somebody said, someone determined to do this, will, unfortunately, find a way. I did like that somebody mentioned that all classrooms has doors that lead outside. That sounds like a good idea.
I think the first part is not having glass doors. I don't know what Sandy Hood had, but all the schools in my dsitrict have full glass doors, so it would not be hard to gain access like he did. You are right, a person who is determined to get in will. But these things are always over in a matter of minutes. The more you can slow that person down until the police get there, the better the outcome.

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Even having door that lead outside may not help. At our one school that had doors to the outside said, the best thing to do is hide and not go out the back. The reason for this is that you do not know if a shooter is outside waiting for people to leave, so they could shoot someone as they ran.

A good solution would be to have armed police or a principals carry a weapon. I strongly believe that if the principal from yesterday had a gun kids would have been saved. All it would have taken is a shot to the head.
I do not believe a principal should have a gun. Think about gun safety. Where would the principal keep it? Locked in an office? What good would that have done them? These occurrences are extremely rare. If it is on the principals's person, what if a student gets ahold of it? I've seen principals get assaulted b y students, what if the gun discharges in a scuffle? Also, one shot to the head? It normally doesn't work like that. Unless your principal is a crack shot, life isn't like the movies.

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Have you ever been at a high school at dismissal time with 1700 students rushing to make the bus, get to their car or just head out to walk home? It is pretty chaotic. Someone with a gun could do a whole lot of damage in a very short period of time. The lobby is completely full of people, it's hard to get there when you have to break up a fight.

Sure there are staff and parents there, but what exactly could they do? After school we have an attendant in the parking lot. There are at least two monitors (usually more) in the lobby. The police liason office is either out front or in the lobby. Generally all three assistant principals and a good number of teachers in the lobby area as well. The only person who is armed is the liason officer.

Now imagine even half of the staff being armed - makes a huge difference, doesn't it?

They way things are now, school security is a complete illusion. The events of Friday proved that again.
Yes, it makes a huge difference. You would have a lot more fatalities in that situation. There would be many people caught up in the crossfire. Now imagine the school resource officer or other police arrive and suddenly you have multiple shooters. They have no idea who the original shooter is and who is trying to defend themselves. That could go south extremely fast and result in a higher number of fatalities. I understand that we all want to feel like we are doing something to keep ourselves and our kids safe, but a knee-jerk reaction of having more guns in school is not the answer.

I think schools do need to review their policies. You are right, somebody can do this during dismissal, recess, etc. What I think is interesting is that so far, none of the modern ones have. Since the 90's, all the ones I can remember happened when class was in session. The only exception was Jonesboro where they pulled the fire alarm to get the students out of the building.

Procedures need to be considered as do things like the doors at the main entry points. Nobody can fully stop something like this, but if we can slow them down enough, give police the chance to respond, we can decrease the number of fatalities. Schools also need to have good plans on what to do if God forbid somebody does decide to break the pattern and go after student in gym, an assembly, recess ,etc. NOthing will ever be 100%, but that does not mean we should not try to make it as safe as we can (within reason),
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #74
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All of this has my head spinning. It's just so tragic and so hard to comprehend. Given what happened, I honestly believe that we could protect our schools in every possible way, but if someone is determined to hurt someone they will find a way to do it.

That's what they police have told us about our home alarm. We can have it locked up and have the very best alarm system out there, but if someone wants in they can break a window and be in and out before the police could even arrive.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #75
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Unfortunately even if he had been a volunteer, no background check would have helped because he had no prior history. While I wholeheartedly believe in having background checks, they only work if the person has already been caught.



I think the first part is not having glass doors. I don't know what Sandy Hood had, but all the schools in my dsitrict have full glass doors, so it would not be hard to gain access like he did. You are right, a person who is determined to get in will. But these things are always over in a matter of minutes. The more you can slow that person down until the police get there, the better the outcome.



I do not believe a principal should have a gun. Think about gun safety. Where would the principal keep it? Locked in an office? What good would that have done them? These occurrences are extremely rare. If it is on the principals's person, what if a student gets ahold of it? I've seen principals get assaulted b y students, what if the gun discharges in a scuffle? Also, one shot to the head? It normally doesn't work like that. Unless your principal is a crack shot, life isn't like the movies.



Yes, it makes a huge difference. You would have a lot more fatalities in that situation. There would be many people caught up in the crossfire. Now imagine the school resource officer or other police arrive and suddenly you have multiple shooters. They have no idea who the original shooter is and who is trying to defend themselves. That could go south extremely fast and result in a higher number of fatalities. I understand that we all want to feel like we are doing something to keep ourselves and our kids safe, but a knee-jerk reaction of having more guns in school is not the answer.

I think schools do need to review their policies. You are right, somebody can do this during dismissal, recess, etc. What I think is interesting is that so far, none of the modern ones have. Since the 90's, all the ones I can remember happened when class was in session. The only exception was Jonesboro where they pulled the fire alarm to get the students out of the building.

Procedures need to be considered as do things like the doors at the main entry points. Nobody can fully stop something like this, but if we can slow them down enough, give police the chance to respond, we can decrease the number of fatalities. Schools also need to have good plans on what to do if God forbid somebody does decide to break the pattern and go after student in gym, an assembly, recess ,etc. NOthing will ever be 100%, but that does not mean we should not try to make it as safe as we can (within reason),
I still believe that having TRAINED armed personnel in the schools would help. The reason these lunatic gunmen come into schools and movies theaters, etc... is that they know they are in control. They aren't too afraid of anyone else having a gun. If you knew that 50% of school staff were armed and trained, would they be as willing to come in and shoot? I don't know...I'm not a lunatic. I'd like to think that someone in that school had been armed that the death count would have been much less. Maybe it is a knee jerk reaction, but we can enact a million more gone laws and it's not going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and lunatics.
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