School security in Washington County looks different today than on Dec. 14, 2012....
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Unannounced school visits by sheriff deputies are appreciated by staff and do not intimidate the kids. Yet the school official rejects the idea of discreetly arming a few well-trained school staff members because it would (from the article) “change the culture, the atmosphere in the school.” His statement defies common sense.
Having the sheriff drop in and walk through the school is a very good idea. So is arming a few staff members. The former supports good discipline and might prevent someone from attacking the school. The latter provides a strong, effective, life-saving response within seconds, not minutes, of the beginning of an attack.
Sandy Hook had an entry barrier system installed. But the killer shot his way right through it. No one inside the school had the wherewithal to stop him, just as our local schools sit waiting today. How many precious lives would have been saved if a Sandy Hook staff member had been armed that day?
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Golden, when you buzzed the school secretary saw you on camera. Each door to any elementary is visible on video screens located in the school office. Without turning the school into prisons with checkpoints and prison bars every 15 or 20 feet there really isn't much more that can be done. If society demands that such security measures be put in place then what have we done to the children we seek to protect? Fear of the unknown doesn't lend itself well to learning.
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As far as Marietta's elementary schools having "those locks and buzz-in" entryways, they aren't all that safe. I had to visit my granddaughter's school and had no idea the door would be locked. I thought that was a great safety measure. Then I pushed the intercom button and a voice asked me who I was and what I needed and unlocked the door. How did she know who I was? How did she know I did not mean any harm? I don't even know if she could see me before she let me in. Once I left the office, she couldn't see where I went. I had free access to the entire building. Prior to me going in, a utility worker walked out. Did they really know who he was?? Just saying. I still feel Marietta is a very safe place, but isn't that what Sandy Hook residents thought? I don't know what the best solution is, but certainly we can do better than having "buzz-in" entryways without checking identifications.
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