Parents lack confidence that their children’s schools will be able to stop a gunman, according to new research from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Researchers found only about a third of parents polled were extremely or very confident about their children’s safety in school, while 40 percent were moderately confident and about 2 in 10 said they have little to no confidence.
Most Americans don’t blame schools for shootings, according to the poll, though the parents of school-age children are more likely than other adults to blame shootings on the schools themselves.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they put little to no blame on schools. Just 9 percent said they believe schools shoulder a great deal of blame. Forty-nine percent of parents of school-age children put blame on schools, compared to 36 percent of other adults, according to the survey.
in Parkland that took the lives of 14 students and three adults was
hardly news but it was confirmed in a 485-page report by the Marjory Stoneman
Douglas High School Public Safety Commission.
commission met over eight months; the panel included law enforcement, public
officials and parents of murdered students. It will continue to meet until 2023
to provide further recommendations. Here were some of the mistakes that
passive Broward County deputies waited while shots were fired. The shooter
paused five times to reload, which means he could have been stopped by someone
trained in combat. Clearly deputies need to be told that they should rush to
confront a shooter.
• There was
a shocking failure to act on tips about a possible shooting; the FBI, the
Broward public schools and the Broward Sheriff’s Office all received warnings
yet failed to follow up on them. One deputy received a warning in 2016 that
Nikolas Cruz was going to shoot up the school, reported the South Florida Sun
Sentinel. Another deputy received a 911 call from a woman concerned that Cruz
had several guns, had threatened to kill himself and people at a school. Both
deputies were disciplined but not fired.
• Lax school
contains many recommendations but the most controversial is sure to be a
proposal to arm teachers. If trained sheriff’s deputies are slow to react, what
sense is there in simply handing a gun to a teacher? Now, if a teacher is a
military veteran, someone with law enforcement experience or an individual who
has combat training, that’s another matter. But how many teachers are there who
meet these prerequisites?
reasonable response is to increase spending on school security. The report
• More state
flexibility for school districts in providing security.
freedom for school districts to raise taxes for security.
This is sure
to be expensive: many older schools in Marion County, for example, were
designed as open campuses with easy access. Still, in the long run prevention
is a more feasible strategy than turning every school building into an armed
reasonable suggestion is to require — rather than merely encourage — mental
health providers to notify law enforcement if a patient threatens anyone
(though, of course, all reports should be fully vetted).
should have safe areas and teachers should be able to quickly cover classroom
schools should have clear policies for declaring a “Code Red” crisis situation.
• All campus
gates should be locked unless staffed.
should be required to report crime and safety incidents.
mental health records should follow them from school to school.
Florida public schools should provide law enforcement with immediate access to
resource officers should be more closely supervised — and they should focus on
safety, not teaching or counseling.
generation grew up with nuclear attack drills, though an attack never occurred.
This generation of students is growing up with the fear of an armed attack with
a military-style weapon.
a legitimate fear that too many have lived through.
LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie laid out a
series of security upgrades to Broward County school campuses.
pushed back against critics who have questioned his job performance and the
performance of this school district in the lead up to and the aftermath of the
Runcie said on Thursday that the district is following the recommendations of
the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Commission by allowing any staff member to
call a code red, adding hard corners to classrooms and giving law enforcement
live access to school security cameras.
He also said
the district is 82% finished with installing single point of entry openings at
schools. Runcie said there have been millions spent to upgrade security cameras
across the school district and the district has created a new Office of School
One of the
functions of that office will be to perform an annual audit of schools to make
sure they are following security protocols.
February 14, we’ve worked on nothing but security and safety in this district,”
promised a renewed focus on safety and security to avoid some of the mistakes
like unlocked gates that allowed confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz onto the
putting culture in of safety. Everyone needs to think of that relentlessly,”
Runcie said. “All gates are locked during schools hours. When the gates are
opened, there’s somebody there monitoring those gates.”
Alhadeff is a school board member. She is also the mother of Marjory Stoneman
Douglas murder victim Alyssa Alhadeff.
“As a school
board member, I plan to hold him accountable,” Alhadeff said.
standpoint as a board member and mother of a victim, it’s painful to listen to
the amount of failures that led to the MSD shooting.
heartbreaking,” she said. “Call a code red. Lock doors. Lock gates. You see
someone with a rifle bag you take them out. As a school board member, I need to
make sure this never happens again.”
Parkland parents, like Max Schachter, whose son Alex was murdered at MSD, say
the school district has not shown a sense of urgency to put additional security
measures in place.
like to know why did it take them 11 months,” Schachter said. “We knew all this
on February 15th. I’m pleased that they seem to be doing things that will
improve the safety of our children. I wish they had acted a lot sooner.”
the district must balance safety and security with its core mission of teaching
and learning. Lori Alhadeff said security must be a priority.
“At the end
of the day, test scores don’t matter if our kids don’t come home alive,” Runcie
At the news
conference, Runcie defended his performance and said the district did not wait
to do the security work. He responded to critics of his job performance, like
Andrew Pollack, father of MSD victim, Meadow Pollack. Pollack has made clear
that he wants Runcie to resign.
her focused on the work that needs to be done,” Runcie said.
week, the school board approved an agreement with the Broward Sheriff’s Office
which gives them access to real-time, live video feeds from school surveillance
law enforcement with access to the real-time, live video surveillance feeds is
among the recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Public Safety Commission, which released a report last year that featured
school safety recommendations.
commission also recommended teachers who volunteer and undergo training be
allowed to carry guns.