Michael Sinsabaugh, Guest Writer

East Rockaway, New York-With the awful school shooting that took place Monday, March the 27th, in Nashville, Tennessee, the advent of school security has come to the forefront once again. In this writers’ opinion, school security should be paramount everywhere. I understand that all districts are up against financial constraints, but considering recent and past events, I wonder if more financial support should be allocated to school security.

Places such as West Nickel Mines, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Cal State Fullerton, Virginia Tech, and Parkland along with many others were victims of lax security, combined with poor response from Law Enforcement as this phenomenon was never experienced or experienced in areas that never envisioned such a day. The ability to prepare for all situations is impossible. However, we owe it to our students, parents and teachers to feel safe.

It has been said by many experts and those reporting from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) that the general public thoughts on school safety are often shaped by high profile incidents. Due to the vicious news cycle we live in, these events are constantly thrust in out face, thus shaping our feelings and position. But I am willing to concede that issues such as bullying, harassment, and school discipline polices are more prominent than the dreadful thought of a school shooting.

However, because of these underlying issues, this writer feels that they are important and must be addressed to prevent further tragedies, coupled with proper school security to blunt the bullying and harassing seen in the hallways or school grounds. School safety has been enacted by Federal mandate since the 70’s, however it has had to increase with the uptick in violence in the schools.

With this uptick, what are we to do? Do we rely on technology, manpower, or programs to educate? In this writers’ opinion we need to consider and do all. When I come to school, I feel safe with the security presence and technology present, i.e. cameras and locked doors. But is it enough? I would like to think so, but can you ever have enough, especially with law enforcement stretched so thin and response times climbing in the event of a school shooting?

I would surmise that all school boards, parents, teachers, and even student have come to one major conclusion. Technology, school climate intervention, or school safety strategy can’t totally guard against or eliminate school violence. I would reckon that a multi-pronged approach that includes emergency response drills, the promotion of a healthy and positive school climate, school security plans, and overall situational awareness give each school district a chance to protect in place and to make sure all go home at the end of the day.

School shootings are frightening, and all know they make headlines. However, I believe that public safety officials along with educators continue to grapple with the challenge of maintaining a safe environment, but knowing this I am confident, they will do all that is possible to keep us safe.