Teachers are our shepherds. They teach and nurture our children in our absence but for some reason we presume they’ll protect them too.
I believe this is unfair to our educational professionals but reality being what it is, history has proven that an armed response as quickly as possible is the only way to terminate a lethal threat and save lives.
I’ll caveat this by saying I believe that prevention is the key. In the recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida, the shooter made it known what his intentions were and I suggest that this is not an anomaly but the norm. Recently in my home town, a teenager posted on his facebook page “it’s going to be a good day at school” while posing with a replica assault rifle. The school was put into lockdown, the child was spoken to, harshly I’m sure, asked many questions about his feelings and suspended for 3 days. The parents were told by a school official that the lock down involved a student and it was ‘non violent.’
Denial and ignoring threat cues are the problem but in lieu of that, here are 3 potential solutions.
1.Keep our Fingers Crossed
This is the option currently utilized. Commendably, many civilians are being trained in various run-hide-fight strategies, which is a good start but ultimately the primary response to neutralizing an active killer is too get armed personnel on scene as quickly as possible. Once the 911 call is made, a communication centre call taker would dispatch police units and if response time is good, they will be on scene to deal with the threat in 5 minutes from the beginning of the incident, at best.
Ron Borsch of the SEALE active shooter training academy developed a what he calls the Stopwatch of Death, which reveals that the killing is over in less than two minutes.
So by the time the Police arrived, your kid or mine would be dead.
Follow up this option would then be to change our facebook page indicating that we’ll say our prayers for the involved, hold a vigil, shake our heads at the television and probably debate gun control for a few weeks. Rinse and Repeat.
2. Arm our Teachers.
Desperate measures but I’m sure there would be volunteers. Not every teacher would need to be armed but just the knowledge that some may be would be enough to cause a potential assassin to choose another target. Train them in the ways of the would-be assassins and equip them with the tools, training and mindset to protect our children. It almost seems negligent not too!
There are many discreet holsters and clothing options on the market that children would not need to be looking at guns on their teacher’s belt. If you add a public campaign and some awareness stickers on the school entrances, you have just made a very unattractive target for a potential killer.
People who commit mass murders have but one goal- kill as many people as they can.
Active killers all possess another common characteristic, cowardice. If they know there is someone armed and prepared waiting for them before they kill others, they will pick another place.
3. Armed Off Duty or Retired Police Officers/ Military Members in Every School
If we did this, school shootings would never happen again. According to Borsch, almost all of active killings are aborted by a school resource officer, security guard, civilian or the killer taking his own life. In short, somebody who is already on scene.
If done properly and discretely, you wouldn’t even know they were there. But they would be, and the potential active killer would know it too.
How many retired police officers or service members do you know that would be willing to band up with 10 or 20 colleagues and draw up a schedule within their school divisions to protect the community’s children. My bet is that if there wasn’t room in the city budgets for it, they would do it for free.
This would be the best way to deal with school shootings.
Until this time comes, refer to solution 1.