Staff Editorial- Public safety: How far should it go?


Staff Editorial

It’s a Monday morning and it’s time for parents to say goodbye to their kids for school. As their high school son and daughter come downstairs and make their way to the door, both parents ponder the dangers their children could face in a school day. The couple would be devastated if anything were to happen to their beloved and cherished children; however, they must rely on the safety procedures the school takes each day to ensure their children’s safety.

Each day, parents send their children into public schools where they cannot control what events may happen. A parent’s main source of comfort is the amount of trust they hold in school safety and how the district handles the responsibility it is given.

Teachers in the Ringgold School District began to go on strike due to the fact that they believed that they made less money than other districts in the Pittsburgh area. As the strike continued, the threats “shoot them and start over” and “guns don’t kill people, I kill people” were posted to Facebook by 44-year-old George Shallenberger. It was then confirmed that the threats were made towards the teachers union. The police put an end to the teachers’ strike due to the effects it could have on the teachers.

On Oct. 27, the New Brighton School District had an issue with a hit-list that caused extra security and bag checks to be required the morning after the incident was brought to officials’ attention. The hit-list was anonymously posted to social media and contained students names that were threatened. Not only was the school affected, but the entire community was as well.

Now that NBSD has faced a large dilemma, the school saw that they were not always prepared for these events. By taking action and having bag checks, the school was confident that students were safe to enter the school. A course of action the district would take is to address some of the problems that occur.

This shows that conflict can appear in any school at any time. The question is, how can schools enhance their safety and how far should they go?

Schools need to be sure that no matter what the issue, all students feel safe when they walk through the doors. If students cannot feel secure in the area they learn, how can parents entrust that their children are in the safest school possible?

Freedom Area School District has had issues in the past with multiple bomb threats. Before multiple bomb threats in a year, Freedom did not have a resource officer. It was not until 2013, when Officer Tom Liberty was hired for the position, after the bomb threats occurred. It took numerous incidents for the district to gain more security and without the bomb threats, Freedom may not have added Liberty to the staff along with new rules in the classrooms. Liberty came to the school with not only to protect but to educate students about law enforcement.

When a school crisis does occur, it affects more than the teachers and students, it affects a wide variety of areas. In the news, people often hear of tragedy involving schools. The popular debate then normally pursues, “Was there anyway to prevent this from happening?”. Creating a safer environment for students and staff members can increase the amount of assurance that others have in the safety of their students.