The school massacre in Connecticut should wake up adults to secure schools as well as other public arenas. Before the public rushes to ban weapons and hire armed police, some immediate ideas can help.
Simple ideas include putting colored wood or vines through school fences to hinder view of students on playgrounds. All teachers should have walkie talkies as do other school personnel. Security cameras covering school grounds should be on and viewed by a security guard during school hours at school sites. Security guards should contracted on a yearly basis. As it is, every school has yard duty supervision all day. A yard duty supervisor with a walkie talkie can be stationed at the primary school entrance. Many schools constantly have nonpersonnel floating around school grounds; be it to deliver birthday goodies or pick up students at the classroom door. Non-personnel can be a danger, not a bonus. All doors joining classroom should have locks, as the open space concept of some schools decreases safety. Schools with visitor access to premises through the office is a safety idea which probably saved a lot of lives in Connecticut. As well, principals should show leadership by being visible on campus — in touch with the atmosphere and realities of the living, breathing student body and staff.
Some of these concepts are realities at a few schools. Take a look at your school. Is your school one of them? Do you think it should be? If school districts can afford new swimming pools, they certainly can install some of these relatively inexpensive safety concepts.