Allen Hischke: Real solutions needed to stop school violence
With the recent mass shootings and the close call we had here in Moffat County, we are all searching for answers and a way to stop this violence. It is altogether fitting and proper that we, as a community and country, search for and find these methods.
Some might call these measures extreme. Some might call them barbaric. Some might call them sadistic. Some might call them illegal. Some might call them unconstitutional. But in my mind, when extreme and drastic things are happening, extreme and drastic measures are called for and necessary to find a solution to the violence we have been subjected to in recent years.
I thought I would give everyone a few suggestions I believe are the only way we have hope of ending gun crimes and gun violence and protecting our children at school.
• We must arm our teachers, school staff, school employees, retired veterans and retired law enforcement officers on a volunteer basis. These volunteers should pass a background check and a psychological examination and receive training from law enforcement on a regular basis on dealing with armed attackers and hostage situations. Utilizing armed teachers, staff, and other school employees will have armed people at the school at all times students are at school. Also, utilizing volunteers is less expensive than keeping the police or paid guards at the school. These people will already possess a firearm they will want to carry, saving that expense, as well, so training, background checks and ammunition will be the only cost. Everyone needs to remember this important fact. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away. All too often, by the time the police arrive, the damage has already been done.
• There must be a method to secure our schools. I think anyone who enters the school on a regular basis should be required to use a card and pass it through a card scanner to gain entrance and should pass through a metal detector. The locations of these scanners need to be close to where they can be observed by school staff or teachers, or if that is not possible, be monitored by a security camera. It might be necessary in some schools to have students scan through one door, have it close behind them containing them in a secure area, then pass through a second door.
• Teasing and bullying must stop at school, at home and everywhere. If anyone sees a child being teased, bullied or abused, it is his or her responsibility to report that immediately. Perhaps, from time to time, someone might be turned in falsely, but stopping a child from being harassed is important and could save the lives of many. All students should be encouraged by parents and teachers to try and make friends with every other student.