Students’ Defense Act

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The recent school shooting has once again fired up both sides of the gun control issue.  Gun control, less or more will not curtail this violence.  Healthcare reform to identify mental instability will not stop these tragedies.  There is no one size fits all fix, but there are some seriously simple solutions that can be implemented that may at the very least curb the type of violence we have seen this past week.  We don’t need to wait on Washington, DC to fix it, not when we can fix it right here in our own county. 

A Students’ Defense Act should be developed in our county to develop, maintain, and oversee a comprehensive plan to protect our children.  This should consist of representatives from the Department of Education, the Sherriff’s Department, and committee of local parents of school aged children living in the county.  This would be a mandatory program for any school campus with an enrollment of at least 50 children.  Here are some of the basic requirements:

A minimum of one full time officer at every school, with additional officers based on campus layout and student enrollment. 

Officers are to be specially trained in areas specific to protecting and defending the students and faculty in a school setting.  During summer months all officers would receive ongoing education and training on tactical defense, physical and psychological conditioning, as well as crisis management. 

Surveillance cameras and alarm systems installed in every school to allow officers to monitor and be alert to persons entering the campus property. 

Remodeling, if necessary, to contain visitors to the main school office or lobby unless escorted by the officer on duty. 

In the event of a threat the officer would immediately take control of the school and an action plan would be put into place.  Assigned and trained staff at the school would offer logistical aid to the officer by communicating with faculty, law enforcement, EMS, and parents as well as administer basic first aid and any other additional help as directed by the officer.

It seems like a lot, and yes there is a cost involved, but that cost is minimal if only one tragedy like this is stopped.   Just walk into any bank in a major city and you will see the same level of protective measures.  We should at least value the lives of children as much as the banks value their assets. 

Brad Johnson
Red Bank

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