A school in Parkland, Florida is
providing students with clear plastic, see-through carry bags.
This is in response to the February 14th shooting that left 17
dead. Future plans call for a fence with a central point of
access that will be equipped with metal detectors and attended
by armed guards.
Crowds that gathered immediately after
the shooting demanded that officials do SOMETHING! So it appears
officials are indeed doing “something.” Whether or not it will
prove productive or perhaps be counter productive seems not to
be a concern. At least there is the appearance of strides being
made toward improved safety. But let's think about it. Imagine
2,000 or so students showing up at the gate at the same time.
Will it be like the airport where you have to line up two hours
early? And what's to prevent someone with a grievance from
lining up with a gun. Outside the students will be in an easy
pickings pack. Inside they will at least be spread out over
dozens of classrooms. Perhaps this is an example of “something”
the officials need to rethink.
A half hour's thought will result in
maybe a half dozen additional plans. Unfortunately, they will
all include a fatal flaw that a creative teen, bent on mayhem,
will figure a way to circumvent. The bottom line is that there's
no way to provide 100% security. A kid in a murderous rage
against the school and the students will want to get even and
you don't know where or when he's coming.
Perhaps it's time to ask the reason for
student rage, keeping in mind that only the minuscule number who
act on it are ever noticed and counted. The fact is, it's a much
larger problem that adults ignore because schools provide a
place to park their kids where they themselves don't have to go.
Read The Lord of the Flies and
then watch Blackboard Jungle. Think
of it as a homework assignment and be thankful you don't get one
every night. The book and the film will give you an idea how
adolescents behave along with how schools operate and if you
think these examples are exaggerated, how else do you account
for 17 dead?
Add to this the fact that many (most?)
of the classes have little to do with an education. Memorizing
irregular Latin verbs and the Periodic Table in no way improves
one's ability to reason and think critically. What they do is
make it easier to get a job by putting a sign on the kid's head
saying: I have a history of
doing what I'm told.
Look At It This Way
Instead of trying to do “something”
about school safety and winding up with Security Theater, why
not eliminate schools? This would end the need to travel to a
brick and mortar building where teens are indiscriminately
packed cheek-by-jowl with potentially dangerous teens. How about
providing computer lessons taught by acknowledged experts and
specifically designed to serve the educational needs of
tomorrow's adults? The current school system is a relic of the
past that in many ways has become top heavy and obsolete. It
won't be easy to change but some kid's life may depend on it.