Regarding “Keeping watch: Local school officials assure community of secure campuses in light of Conn. shooting,” Ahwatukee Foothills News, Dec. 21, 2012, page 1, we can be glad that exterior doors are being kept locked. Better yet would be for all classroom doors to be closed and automatically locked to anyone on the outside of the classroom at the beginning of each class.
As a volunteer EMT with a law enforcement medical rescue detail, I twice have heard presentations from one of the preeminent authorities on the causes and prevention of school massacres. He is Dave Grossman (Lt. Col., U.S. Army Rangers, retired). “Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill” is among his recent books. Regardless of what safety measures a school administration may have taken or is planning to take, what they can learn from Grossman is indispensable and urgent.
Understand this: the Columbine juvenile murders had a booby-trapped car bomb, pipe bombs, propane bombs, jellied gasoline bombs, shrapnel grenades and knives in addition to shotguns, a rifle and a pistol. Ban gasoline to juveniles, to the emotionally distressed?
There is much opportunity in parenting and professional counseling for turning back the tide of juvenile violence. That must be done, but that takes much time.
What can be done immediately? Every one of these unspeakable horrors in our schools could have been prevented with a few modifications to policy and procedure and without spending a dime.