In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Newton, Connecticut, at Sandy Hook Elementary school, school districts immediately stepped up efforts to “protect” our nations kids. Most schools keep doors locked during the school day. Many districts already use buzzer systems, where by anyone trying to enter the school must be buzzed in to gain entry to the building and must identify themselves. Many districts have a person posted by the main entrance door during school hours, which has now been stepped up to include after school activity hours. Some districts have community patrol officers on the premises during school hours.
One Ohio district has taken an extreme measure. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, The Montpelier ExemptedVillage School Board, in Ohio, voted to allow four non-teaching employees to carry guns as a protective measure. The four employees volunteered for the position, agreed to take a weapons training course, and will use their own weapons. I wonder, did they also undergo psychological evaluations prior to the boards vote, approval, and parental support? I wonder if the gun toting janitors emotional state was even questioned.
I don’t like guns, which might be ironic to those who know me. I don’t think guns in our schools are the answer. I think violence begets violence, and schools should be a nurturing place promoting peaceful co-existence and idealistically promoting civic responsibility and the greater good. They should be validating environments fully equipped to meet the complex needs of the students they are charged with educating or provide supports which can link kids and families to real help they need. I don’t want our nation’s kids attempting to learn in atmospheres that breed fear and further promote violence. And I don’t want armed adults patrolling our schools who may not be equipped or capable of handling such a large responsibility.
As Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
Written by, Michelle Sicignano, LMSW, Staff Writer, SJS
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