with Linda Sharps
Mom's Eye View is a weekly mom-focused take on what's happening in the world, from headline-grabbing current events to the lesser-known news you can use. I'm Linda, freelance writer, mother of two rambunctious boys, and frequent opinion-haver. I hope you'll join me!
You can also find me at my personal blog, Twitter, and every weekday at CafeMom's The Stir.
It’s been over two months since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and I have the luxury of not thinking about it very often these days. I say luxury because that’s what it feels like — the parents who lost their children on that day certainly don’t have the option of pushing it to the back of their minds.
Like many parents of young children, what happened on December 14th hit very close to home for me. I kept imaging a similar scenario happening in my own first grader’s school. For a while I was consumed by the idea of it, the vision of it.
I don’t have that same level of anxiety these days. The tragedy has been mostly properly filed away in my brain as a god-awful event that was unthinkably horrible, yet statistically unlikely to happen to my own children. That isn’t to say I’ve forgotten about Sandy Hook, it’s just that I no longer feel a pressing sense of dread when I wave goodbye to my son’s bus.
Still, as the national debate on gun control and mental health safety rages on, I wonder about the security of our elementary school. There were a flurry of notifications in the days after Sandy Hook informing parents of new regulations going into effect, but as far as I can tell the only real difference is that parents must now wear a bright yellow VISITOR sticker when they’re inside. Anyone who wanted to force entry into the school could easily do so — but should this bother me?
School safety discussions are happening all across the country, with suggestions that include locked entrances, use of photo IDs to clear visitors for entry, extensive use of video cameras, metal detectors, and armed guards. It’s difficult to imagine what would really help. Sandy Hook had a fairly advanced security system than our school does, with a requirement for visitors to be identified and buzzed in through locked doors. Even Columbine had a full-time uniformed and armed school resource officer.
The discussions continue about how to avoid another terrible mass shooting. For Connecticut, a Sandy Hook Advisory Commission was formed to help set statewide standards for school security. They’ll be talking about the same things all of us are: how to prevent gun violence, what mental health systems may need improvement, and what specifically needs to change with schools to make them more safe.
No matter what we come up with, there’s truly no way to be sure our kids will be safe. As the National School Safety and Security Services puts it,
There is no single strategy, or for that matter even a combination of strategies, that can provide 100% guarantee that there will not be a shooting or other act of violence at a school.
That’s a hard fact to wrap my head around, and it’s even harder to know where I should land on the scale of worrying about the security at my son’s school. Is enough being done? How can you even decide, when there is, definitively and horribly, no such thing as “enough”?
How do you personally feel about the security at your kid’s school? Have there been any visible changes since Sandy Hook?
Image via USA Today
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