Employees and students discuss preventative measures for school violence

School shootings:  A pervasive nationwide issue

by Sharlah Lotze
Staff Reporter

Some may say that shootings at schools is not a topic that is of high interest because of its rarity.  But when they do happen, it is tragic.  The shootings at Colmbine brought the issue to the forefront.

Ray Griffith, the director of campus security at COD and a retired police officer, says of school shootings, “Obviously, our whole world changed with Columbine.  That changed the philosophy of law enforcement and the philosophy on how schools look at it that brought about a program that is now nationwide and every police department goes along with it and that is the active shooter program.”

The active shooter program basically changes the game plan of law enforcement to trying to isolate the shooter as a number one priority rather than victim recovery.  “This is one of the reasons we are looking at a device here that is an automatic door lock.  It looks similar to a fire alarm pull, except it’s green.”  This device locks the door of any given classroom or office on campus from the inside which would prevent any potential shooters or suspects from entering the room.  This is one measure that can be taken.

“I think schools should be more secure.  I’ve heard of places that have metal detectors, and some people don’t like it, but I think it would be more secure for everyone in the school,” says Celina Toscano, a student at COD, when asked what she thinks can be done to prevent school shootings.

Another student, Jonathan Espinoza, says a possible cause for these incidents could be, “It has to do with the parents and how the kids are treated.”  Espinoza went on to add that it also could be, “How society treats these kids and if they come into high school as an outcast.”

These tragedies can be prevented to a certain extent.  Students need to stay actively aware of their surroundings to ensure their own safety.  If a student notices suspicious activity, they need to report it.  Even if the student believes the behavior to be a joke or not real, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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