This week we asked a very sensitive (but important) question to our online readers as millions of parents struggled to drop off their children at school Monday (after twenty children and six adults were slain last Friday in a Connecticut School). We wanted to hear thoughts concerning, “What do you believe society needs to do to keep our children safe within American schools?”
It is obvious that this question will be addressed at the local, state and national level in upcoming days, weeks, months and years. We wanted to gather a large spectrum of local thoughts for the community to consider as the nation begins to heal from this tragedy.
*Most responses are word for word. A few responses had large typos corrected.
~Forrest R. Church, Publisher
Casey Grahn Glock – All doors should be locked at all times and need buzzed to get in…And and armed guard should be placed in each school.
Amy Cheesbro – Bring GOD back into our schools!
Nelson Barnhiser – I think all doors should always be locked and possibly some training for faculty and staff on what to do when this sort of situation arises. I don’t think an armed guard should be placed at each school though. I know this is a sensitive subject right now but a tragedy like this doesn’t happen everyday, it is a random thing that happens and even though we want children safe we don’t want to go overboard. I pray for those families affected by this horrible tragedy in Newtown. God bless them.
Mary Ann Siebenaler – At Edon, when we visit the school, we push the button and when we give our name, we are buzzed in. I think that a person should come to the door and look at the person before opening the door. This would make me feel like the kids are safer inside.
Jamie Harrington – I believe the LORD JESUS CHRIST needs to be believed in once again an brought back to life.
Melissa Bostelman – We need to all open our eyes to the fact that none of us are safe, this can happen at anytime in any school. Taking precaution is all we can do. As a community you must invest in your schools, pass levy’s, help in anyway you can. I think all schools need to take on the mind set of inner city schools, the schools we deem unsafe seem to be untouched by these mass shootings, they are prepared, taking precautions, they have metal detectors and security guards, they are on alert for any sign of danger. It’s sad but we must all adopt this type of behavior, it is the only way to insure our children’s safety.
Vicki Slaughter – We have two or more generations of children, now grown or almost grown that have been brought up with out God in the schools. In efforts to not disrespect those that did not believe, nor did they want their children to believe, we have disrespected God and the gift of life. Further we allow children to somewhat run wild (to a degree) with their own desires, as parents may or may not try to redirect them from a dangerous path. Our society has lost its compassion for our fellow mankind and with some their own families. Yes, bring GOD back to our schools and in the mean time also yes to lockdowns in schools, as well as trained able bodied security. Security guards can assist in the bullying problems in the schools also.
Sharon Clark – We can’t turn our schools into fortresses. I think coming to the door & being buzzed in is fine. If someone wants to commit mass murder bad enough they will break through any kind of barrier. We need to stay level headed about this, I don’t think guns in the classroom is a good thing but I don’t think gun control helps either. I do think bringing God back into the schools would be a good start.
Emiley Gaskill – Bring God back into the hearts and souls of every man, woman, and child…parenting is the most important priority of every family…we are responsible for what our children become!
Heather Sheline – We can provide all sorts of security measures but what about at 3pm when the mass of student exit the school or when they are out for recess? Yes we need to be buzzed in at Edon but at 2:50 the back doors unlock for parents to enter. If a door is unlocked there should be faculty (with handheld radio) nearby to assess who is entering and exiting. Some people mention trained faculty with firearms…no way! Love our teachers and they have a tremendous responsibility of keeping our children calm and safe. I do feel the random presence of our police officers in school is a good idea. Maybe this is already done or maybe our officers are too busy with other things..considering they have likely had cuts as well but if able I feel they should have a random daily presence in our schools. If nothing else it is wonderful for our children to form a positive relationship with our law enforcement. And most important prayer in schools and increased attention to and treatment for mental health.
Melissa Bostelman – I have a question and I don’t mean to be smart or offend but isn’t God in the school already? Don’t those who believe feel God is everpresent? Don’t the believers take God to school everyday in their heart? Teaching compassion begins at home. Not praying in school is not the reason for these shootings, also, again not trying to offend, but we as Americans have a choice, there are private religious schools in the area that offer just what you may be looking for if you are unhappy about the lack of religion in school. May I also ask, whose God do we allow in? Who decides what religion is the right religion, whose God is the real and only God? I struggle with these comments because everyone is saying to put God back in the schools but no one seems to be able to answer these questions for me.
Jason Randall – We need to take an active role in our children’s raising. Stop expecting other people to teach and raise your child. Always know what they are doing and who they are with. Parents are not the child’s friend…they are the parent.
Michael Fouty – God is allowed in classrooms, at parochial schools. Feel free to enroll your children there. As a parent of a kindergarten student and twin 2 year olds, I would like to see more action than allowing people to pray in school. I would like to see more action than having a police officer at the school till Christmas break, and then nothing afterward. There needs to be an everything approach. Take significant measures to beef up security and safety within the school. Have safe rooms designed into the building of all new schools as they are replaced. Close the mental healthcare gap in this country and train school professional counselors and faculty better on recognizing this (they already have so much on their plates as it is now). Enact gun control legislation and regulate the types of weapons and capacities of these weapons. VOTE FOR YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL LEVY THAT WILL HELP FUND THESE PROGRAMS. Love your children. If they are being bullied or abused in any manner, get them help. If your children are being bullied, stop them, get them help. If you allow the abuse to continue, get yourself help. You are an unfit parent. We have to do everything in our power to stop this from happening. You may have to give up a few extra dollars, sacrifice a few of your rights, or become more involved at the school. What matters most is our kids. That is it.
April Firm Mckinney – I feel more training on both staff and students than once a year and more education on mental illness on how to deal with them and how to pick up on warning signs. Teaching the kids on bullies and dealing with them and not to become one!
Audrey I. Fast – Letting prayer and GOD back in all our schools.
Karen Bowers – Security at all schools. Security cameras, door men at entrance, classroom door locks if not already have them maybe more security locks on doors.
Heather Price – Have a requirement of gun safety for all staff and allow them a permit to carry…If that doesn’t fly then more parents should choose to Home School. FYI, this is NOT an issue of religion in schools, don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and see nothing wrong with putting God back in our school systems but that truly has nothing to do with these sick individuals when it all comes down to it.
Jamie Strup – Having God in schools and being able to pray at school will not keep terrible things from happening !! I think if bullying, suicide, mental illness and kids that are troubled and kids in general are taken seriously at the beginning instead of after the action has taken place would help. Security being buzzed in police will all help too.
Jamie Strup-Workman – At Edon you have to be buzzed in but you don’t enter into the office. When you are let in you can take off anywhere you want. But sadly none of the schools could afford the security we need to protect our kids from these sick people.
Bobby Hicks – I believe that the whole world needs to get back to GOD. We have eliminated prayer from our schools & public speaking forums, and our younger generation as a whole, do not grasp the concept of right vs wrong. As for the schools, more stringent access may be necessary & possibly as far as having uniformed armed guards on duty. The States should pick up the tab for their presence.
Jacqueline Ann Drott – Too much violence on tv, video games, in the home, etc that children are exposed to. And start school with God, and I believe there should be personnel on the grounds trained in firearms and a uniformed guard at the door. As for me, I would homeschool.
Donna Poole Brooks – I believe that when school begins in the morning, there should only be 1 door for entrance into the school. There could be 2 staff members present that have cell phones or whatever device they choose that they could contact either the office or local authorities immediately upon suspicion of anything out of the ordinary. They should also have the ability to lock that door upon any suspicion of strange happenings. Once school is in session then this door too should be locked as I’m pretty sure most schools are now doing this. In my school district though when you enter into the school and have to be buzzed in, you enter into the office. The enclosure for the office and entrance into the main corridor is glass. Possibly a tempered glass one that is resistant to breakage when items strike it. (Trying to be sensitive here). Increased visibility of our local authorities in and around the school area may hinder a person from having such thoughts as to entering the school. I would hope and pray that ALL of our local schools have met with the children today to discuss the recent events in CT so that some of their anxiety, fear and unknowing may be settled. These are just my opinions. God Bless all and especially the grieving families of CT that are laying their angels to rest.
Opal Louise Downs – First, bring God back into the schools!!! All staff should be trained to carry a concealed weapon and be allowed to have it in their school as long as they are licensed & anyone else that is licensed that enters that school shall be allowed to carry their’s also!! All doors should be locked & maybe a security guard at all times! They have security guards at factories so why not @ the schools!
Ryan D. Hicks – I think armed guards would help. Also, bullet proof windows and doors but like was said before, recess and coming and going are at risk. America needs more love and less garbage on tv, movies, video games, etc. Who is holding these providers accountable? Ultimately, it starts at home.
Lou Graf – I would like to add to Opal Downs, who said what I was going to say, bring back the paddle in schools and quit training parents to not paddle their kids. Most kids that suffer from ADD (Absence of Discipline Disorder) have never been paddled or should have been paddled a few more times. I know I got my share. The teachers didn’t need guns before they took God out of the school systems.
Kristina Vitek Brown – I see everyone keeps putting things about needing to be buzzed in to get into the school. Most schools I think do that and if I am right, this school had a buzz in system too but he just shot his way through the school…..my thought is the first door you come through you stand in a little entrance way to wait to be buzzed through the second set of doors…If someone really wanted to get in they would just shoot there way in so maybe it should be deeper as bullet proof glass on the entrance way so if they tried to shoot there way in they would get no where. Buzzing is all great but it wont really save from something like what happened on Friday… I feel the schools around here don’t have the money to do anymore than they already are which is the sad part.
Keith Hephner – The only thing they need is God back in school.
Judy Behm – Arm the teachers like they do in Israel.
David Kiessling II – Place God back in school, regulate guns stronger, outlaw massive magazines and assault rifles. Also place a police officer at each school.
Marty Mathewson Shipley – We need God back front and center, and we need to get rid of violent video games!
Amy Cheesbro – Don’t you think bullets will open doors whether they are locked or not? Mental illness is not taken seriously at all and needs to be, media needs to be knocked down a few notches as well, this Adam guy made it big thanks to media.
Jamie Harrington – I believe the lord Jesus Christ needs believed in again.
Jamie Hand – We need to nurture all children. If we look at the past history these kids have been what society calls “loners” nothing like being bullied by society, we need to Get GOD back in the schools and our lives and truly learn to be kind to all.