The incident makes me wonder whether our schools—from pre-schools to universities—are equipped with safety and security procedure, equipment, etc, or whether their faculty and staff have the knowledge and skill to mitigate such incidents. Are our schools ready to act in case of emergencies–natural or man-made?
As parents, have we troubled ourselves asking school authorities about their security plans, apart from concerning ourselves with how good the teachers are, or are the rooms airconditioned, or how expensive the tuition is. After all, our children spend a good percentage of their waking hours in school.
Make safety and security one of your criteria in choosing a school for your child.
We ought to see their safety and security plan, if and when our children, heaven forbid, be in a compromising situation in the hands of robbers, abductors, rapists, war-freaks, and what have you. True, the risk hovers like a noisy helicopter wherever we go, but half of the risk is mitigated when there is preparedness.
I am enlightened, suddenly. Thanks to a group of gentlemen who make up Beacon Information Services whom I had the rare chance of sitting in in their presentation of services that equip individuals, schools, corporate organizations with knowledge and skills in safety and security.
And as Beacon puts it: Even the schools, or any facility for that matter, should be protected by those who use it or are in it. Did the Virginia Tech authorities know what the young student of theirs was up to? For me, the huge, sprawling campus was no excuse not to have mitigated the circumstance in the 2-hour lull which even gave the young shooter time to send a package to a news network. If the school had a safety and security plan, they could have acted and prevented the killing of 30 more students. The 2-hour gap was enough to do that, don’t you think?
Choose a school with a safety and security plan. Ask for it. Hold it in your hand and read it. It is worth putting your child in a school where the authorities have the consciousness to protect all those who are in their premises–students, teachers, staff, and guests. We hope that they know that in cases where they do not have a plan to begin with, they may be held liable under the law, if anything happens.
By the way, safety and security goes far beyond the security guard.
Photo originally uploaded by http://www.convergedsolutions.ca.