To the Editor:
The recent school shooting in Connecticut brings a cold, harsh fact to light: We need to protect our kids, and we are failing to do so.
Our current school security measures are pathetic and ineffective. Locked doors are simply smashed. Security cameras only record the carnage. Lockdowns simply place all our children in one easy-to-find location.
Gun bans do not work: If such bans were effective then Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City (places with restrictive gun control) would be amongst our safest cities (they are not). Our police forces are simply too overburdened to effectively protect our schools. We need an active means of protecting our children.
These psychopaths are predators. Shepherds have long known that there is but one reliable means of deterring predators: That is a large, determined sheepdog. Predators are going to continue to prey on our children until we find the means of ensuring that every school has the human equivalent of sheepdogs.
There exist in every community a handful of teachers, parents and others who are willing to put themselves between our children and those who would do them harm. We need to ensure that these individuals - these sheepdogs if you will - have the means to deter and if necessary stop such predation.
We have declared our schools to be weapons-free zones for many years now. These policies have not deterred predators. Rather, they have disarmed the few determined individuals who may stopped the predators. In Conn. Principal Dawn Hochsprung tried to intervene and save her students. She was murdered.
Toothless sheepdogs are not effective. How often do we need to read about a heroic teachers, principals, and counselors becoming yet another victim?
It’s time to give these sheepdogs some teeth. Predators rarely attack the strong and determined. Israel uses this model: In response to school shootings in 1970’s, teachers and parents are screened, trained, and serve as armed security in schools. I strongly suspect that most adults in our schools would not wish to serve in this capacity. However, there likely are a select few adults in each school who view themselves as guardians of our children. This is an unpleasant concept, but it is one that is far easier to stomach than witnessing the deaths of our children at the hands of these predators.
Dale Petry, Canton