Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook—these memories are seared into the mind of this American generation. Most, however, fail to remember Hillside Elementary School, Santa Monica College, Northwest High School, and the dozens of other schools attacked in this country since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. Frighteningly, school shootings have become so commonplace in America that our country has grown numb to them. Instead of searching for solutions and proposing a national plan of action against this intrusion, we have accepted school shootings as a tragic norm.
According to school shootings statistics, between 2000 to 2009 there were 118 injuries and 92 deaths; from 2010 to 2015 those figures have increased to 103 injured and 139 dead. This is alarming in that in a little more than half of the 2000 to 2009 time (between 2010 and 2015) there has been that much of an increase. This means that we must not take these threats lightly, and act responsibly to this real life problem. Our children and grandchildren are far too precious to stand idly by and do nothing to solve this growing issue. I believe that there is a way that we can combat these statistics, and keep our children’s future free from these fears.
By utilizing new technologies in methods of video surveillance, intrusion detection and access controls we can take the advantage away from the intruders and back into our own hands. You have to look at this problem from the eyes of the intruders, first if the intruder knows that he is going to have to encounter an authoritative figure, an intrusion detection system, access control, or video surveillance and it is posted on the outside of the administration building of your school he is more than likely going to think twice about his ill intentions or mayhem. Most intruders are going to take the path of least resistance rather than face an overwhelming obstacle course of locked doors, alarms, and video surveillance.
The police and other authorities agree that any deterrent will help when it comes to these dangerous moments and attempts on our personal safeties. With the new technologies and the abilities to view video cameras on your personal devices the police can now have access to every camera on campus through a hand held phone or pad. This will allow them to keep track of all critical areas on campus at all times. On a school district level the new access control allow an entire school district the advantage of being able to lock down one school at a time or the entire school district at once from a district central location. These new technologies can be installed wireless as well as hard wired and give our school district unlimited flexibility when it comes to our children’s safety. And that is what we are all striving for.
It is extremely unfortunate that schools have become a place of violent targets. Let’s raise awareness and begin implementing programs and technologies right away to begin to reverse this horrific trend. Once a sense of security and awareness is established in our schools, not only are the amount of these instances going to decline, but they will also allow for less destruction when something does arise.