Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Here is what some schools are resorting to in order to protect their students from gun toting killers. Update!

Students participate in drills as a precaution against a school shooter.
Courtesy of Think Progress:  

“I know it sounds politically crass,” said Mason Wooldridge, the co-founder of Our Kids Deserve It, a group that works to promote what many might consider aggressive school safety standards. “But if Sandy Hook Elementary or the college in Oregon had what Indiana is promoting in their schools, nobody would have died.” 

The safety standards Wooldridge is working to implement in Indiana schools are no ordinary measures. 

They’ve already been implemented at Southwestern High School, a small school in rural Shelbyville. There, not only do children perform “active shooter drills” alongside fire drills, teachers wear special key fobs that alert police faster than a 911 call. Classrooms have “hardened doors” that lock automatically and “hardened exterior glass” windows to deflect both bullets and brute force. Cameras in the school have “shooter detection technology” — tools created for the military — to help law enforcement more quickly locate suspects. And if the suspect is trapped in the hallway, smoke cannisters can be detonated to slow down the shooter. 

Wooldridge thinks these measures could have prevented the deadly outcomes of shootings like Sandy Hook and last week’s incident at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. 

“The reason he was able to carry out the killing was because he was able to walk up to the door and walk right in,” he said, referring to Sandy Hook. “With this system, a sensor on the glass would have said someone is trying to break in, and that would have gone to the administrative area and the local police department. So he would have been by himself, stuck in a hallway. In Oregon, the same thing would have taken place.” 

In addition, Wooldridge says the doors at Southwestern High School lock automatically — a concern for fires, but a safety measure so teachers don’t have to remember to lock the door behind them. Wooldridge said this would prevent situations like the one during Sandy Hook, when a teacher told a 911 dispatcher that she had to go outside to lock her door while the shooter was active in the hallway.

These measures are incredibly expensive, costing as much as  $400,000 to $600,000 for a thirty five classroom school. The upgrade for Southwestern High were paid for with a donation from a security company and a government grant.

So is this really going to be the new normal in American schools?

Do we actually have to install the kind of security cameras,  hardened doors, and bullet proof glass that are usually found in federal prisons to keep our kids safe?

How can this be what we have come to?

We are now locking our children inside bulletproof cages becasue we are too fucking stupid to restrict access to the weapons which make that necessary?

Do we remember this from the Declaration of Independence?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

Well how happy do we think our children are to be terrified on a monthly basis with active shooter drills. How much liberty do they feel locked in a school that could just as easily house the most dangerous felons in the country? And how is their right to life preserved by living in a nation where guns take the lives of hundreds of their peers every single year?

The 2nd Amendment may have been written to protect us, but the way it is interpreted today it is placing all of us in the gravest of danger.

And it is poisoning the very essence of what it means to be an American.

Update: A few of you suggested that I include this photo of kids from the 1950's participating in "Duck and Cover" drills in anticipation of nuclear attack.

 It looks like we have been terrifying our school children for generations.

But these days we are not "protecting" them from attacks from foreign governments, today we are trying to keep them safe from attacks by their fellow Americans.


  1. Anonymous6:38 AM

    Gryphen, here's a suggestion: get a photo of kids hiding under our desks in the 50's and title it:hiding from Russia 50'sand next to it put the picture you just posted and title it: hiding from fellow American 2015

  2. I am so damn old, I can remember as a kid preparing for a nuclear bomb attack....going into the school hallway and head first against the wall with hands on neck. The building of backyard bomb shelters and stocking supplies up to last a year...nuclear fallout. I also remember the slogan "better dead than red". I did leave out the air raid sirens that would periodically blast encouraging us to run like hell to get home. My father actually told us kids where to go in the basement under support beam.

    So, really, how far have we come when it comes to scaring the population or to be more specific, kids.

  3. Anonymous6:41 AM

    Those automatically locking doors are going to be recipe for disaster.

    Suppose there is some kind of emergency event that happens inside a classroom and no one can get in to help?

    1. Anonymous7:03 AM

      Right, or they are being evacuated because of a fire, and the kids rush the door and the teacher can't get to it? What about the parents who come in to help? Or a kid who is late? Or so many scenarios. I really think the RW is pushing all this crap to get their parents to pull the kids OUT of public schools altogether. Look how far that money (amazing how there is always money for this stuff, but never for teacher pay, up to date tech, or new supplies for the music department!) could go to really benefit the children. Not to mention how many background checks could have been conducted. No, let's just scare everyone to death, at the one place that should be a safe haven.
      By the way, holding your IPAD over your face will not protect you from a gunshot. Is that next..bulletproof IPADS for schools?

    2. Not really. The doors in my hotel automatically lock, the staff has master keys and so do the cops. They're not locked from the inside.

    3. Anonymous8:45 AM

      The first thing that will happen is that those doors, in schools not equipped with A/C, are going to be propped open to allow circulation of air. IF they're closed, each time a kid needs to leave the room (bathroom, locker, sick, etc), the lesson is going to be interrupted to let them back in. They're not going to be utilized properly.

    4. This will be great inside science labs! Something goes awry with an experiment, and nobody can open the windows/doors to escape toxic fumes or the drenching from fire sprinklers.


  4. Anonymous6:46 AM

    O/T but Bristol hit E today.|htmlws-main-bb|dl29|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D468471710

    1. Anonymous7:11 AM

      They are pushing this crap about the happy 'best times' Bristol with the truant Palin kids as if it is some major deal.

      No one is questioning what this is actually about.

      As if it is normal to take kids out of school the first week or so after school starts. Why? So an unwed twice pg single mother can act like she is happy? Sure.

      Maybe they are in Hawaii for another family event?

      Or this may just be part of a made up story that will fit into the Bristol mythology. When a tragedy happens they will be able to say how strong she was and how much she loves fetus b/c they had the best time when not in school and on vacation.

    2. Anonymous8:18 AM

      Looks like the Palins are living rent free in your head.

    3. Anonymous8:22 AM

      Here's a suggestion. When you get the urge to comment off-topic about something stupid Bristol has done in a post about something as serious as school shootings - resist it.

    4. Anonymous8:42 AM

      Yep, the Palin myths are promoted rent free by media heads.

      The facts are far more interesting than what has made it to print this far.

    5. Anonymous9:35 AM

      The Palins are all about guns, shooting and school. That is no school, no education. Yes, guns. Shoot and shootings.

      I prefer to see the happy best of times and worst of times twosome.

      Best Friend Forever

      This man better run....

    6. Anonymous9:56 AM

      Thank you, 6:46 AM

      For all we know Bristol had to take kids to Hawaii to protect them from the schools in Alaska. These drills might be terrifying Tripp, Trig and Piper.

      Don't forget all the Palin stalkers. Those kids must live in fear when in Alaska with all that goes on around that family. Because, stalkers.

      What night terrors must do to Bristol. She needed to escape and be where she feels safe.

  5. Anonymous7:25 AM

    It looks like we have been terrifying our school children for generations.

    Yes, some of us are still traumatized. Had they only told us to put books in front of out faces we may have felt much safer.

  6. Anonymous7:25 AM

    According to Ben Carson, all those little kiddos should rush the shooter and take him down; like one of them could shout "Let's Roll" and go stop the bad guy all together as a team.

    I was 5 when I was "trained" in duck and cover, and I knew where in the basement to go, and how to go there if I heard the air raid sirens. (this was in D.C. during the Cuban Missle Crisis) My task would be to carry 4 blankets down with me. My little sister had to bring our cat. I had lots of nightmares about looming nuclear war.

    1. Anonymous7:48 AM

      I also used to suffer nightmares about nuclear war when I was a child. I was scared to death of air raid sirens and had anxiety from wondering when the sirens would go off. The weak leading up to the drill and test of the sirens always filled me with such dread and anxiety that I couldn't eat or sleep. I don't think adults realize how scared little kids get by all these drills.

    2. Anonymous10:29 AM

      Now imagine the children from that time who were not mentally and emotionally supported, or had illness of those types. Growing into the paranoid, conspiracy theorists of today. And parents who went through the WW2 terror also. It's a shame. And we are perpetuating it now.

  7. Anonymous7:38 AM

    Doesn't anyone remember that school shooting a decade or so ago where a couple of kids hid in the woods near the school and shot kids at recess? This wouldn't protect kids outside.

    So is our love of guns going to lead to the elimination of recess because "Stuff Happens"?

  8. Frosty7:41 AM

    Officially declare the NRA a terrorist organization. And disband it.

    Then pass appropriate laws to background check everyone who HAS or wants a gun. Background check those who are selling guns. I have guns, and have no problem with them background checking me again.

    Back in the '50's when asked which I would prefer, a swimming pool or a fallout shelter, I chose shelter. Of course I got neither...

  9. Leland7:46 AM

    I grew up in the mid-fifties LESS than eighteen miles from a government facility that was number ten on Russia's target list because it produced heavy water. We used to have drills like the above until my father and many of those who worked there - and therefore KNEW - "explained" to the school board just how stupidly useless such duck and hide tactics actually were! (Since many of our fathers worked out there, we, too, knew how stupid it was.) The drills only served to heighten our fears.

    When I was in the service, I went through NBC warfare training (nuclear, biological, chemical) The nuclear portion lasted about five minutes and boiled down to bend over, kiss your ass goodbye and finish your drink.

    Hiroshima was devastated by a mere 15 kiloton bomb. By the time the mid-fifties came along, we had bombs CONSIDERABLY larger than that. (1954, Bikini Atoll, 15 MEGATONS!) And we were less than 18 miles away? Yeah right.

    The idea proposed above is merely someone taking advantage of the fear for our kids in order to make money. What are they going to do next? Propose installing thick Lexan to keep the shooter who couldn't get INTO the school from using a high powered rifle and shooting through the windows? Or totally windowless schools? And not let them outside in recess?

    I can see the numbers of sufferers of paranoia rising just thinking about those ideas! I call BULLSHIT!

  10. The shooting by a fellow American has always been more likely than any nuclear or terrorist attack. But it behooves the right wing to try to scare us with the latter so we become delusional like them about the former.

  11. Randall7:55 AM

    So this is what freedom looks like?

  12. Anonymous8:17 AM

    5 Indefensible Tweets From The NRA Since The Oregon Gun Massacre

  13. The only drills I had in school were for fire and tornado.

  14. Sorry O/T, but I figured someone here would be interested in this:

  15. After the Columbine shooting, some parents requested that all students be funneled through a search point of two teachers before entering high school. This was seriously being discussed. I remember saying that from my POV, all that would do is tell us who the first two victims would be, and if I was a teacher, I would challenge this through the union.

    I too remember the 50s and 60s and the bomb drills. We had a basement and my dad started storing stuff in it in case of a nuclear attack... as if we'd have a chance of surviving, perched where we were near an army base, an air force base, a national guard base, and just a loud shout from a navy shipyard. But it did affect my growing up. It made me very insecure, and the riots of the 60s did not help.

  16. Anonymous8:42 AM

    The Cult Of The Second Amendment

  17. Anonymous9:18 AM

    This makes about as much sense as the nuns telling us 'keep moving' down my school's single staircase, a wooden staircase, in case of a fire.

  18. Anonymous9:32 AM

    "...Southwestern High School, a small school in rural Shelbyville"

    Gosh, it almost sounds like Southwestern High is telling the shooters to go after the school bus instead of the school. Why isn't there bullet proof glass in the bus, automatic locking doors and, why not, an armed police escort for each bus?

  19. Ferry Fey9:36 AM

    Gryphen, that photo you used is of kids in an air raid drill in London in 1940. Little American boys didn't wear woolen shorts and knee socks in the fifties.

    1. Okay I changed it.


    2. Ferry Fey10:42 AM

      Great, thanks!

      When my school had duck and cover in the Fifties, we didn't hide under desks. We went into the hall, and kneeled with our heads against the wall, ostensibly to keep us from bomb-shattered glass. But we were certain it was so that one of the fifth grade teachers (a real creep) could look at our underpants, given that girls had to wear dresses to school in those days.

  20. Anonymous9:36 AM

    I was 12 during the Cuban missile crisis. I lived a few miles from a SAC (strategic air command) base. My high school age brother explained "mutually assured destruction" and why it would be preferable to die quickly.

    Duck and cover drills were silly and I knew it.

    1. Maple6:04 PM

      I was 13 at that time and remember it all too well. We never had any such thing as duck and cover drills in Canada. The only thing ever talked about was "Diefenbunkers", so named after the Conservative Prime Minister at the time. I do recall thinking that, even if I and my family survived a nuclear attack by hiding out in an underground bunker, there would be nothing left above, so what was the point? These duck and cover drills you guys had were simply ludicrousl they would have given me nightmares every time I thought about school desks!

  21. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Recess, assemblies, field trips, concerts, sports events, bus boarding... probably need bullet proof vests for each student, plus gas mask.

  22. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Despite Mass Shootings, Republicans Won't Touch Gun Laws

    Background checks won't work. It's Obama's fault. It's a mental health issue, not a gun issue. Any other excuses?

    Last week's mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, was the 265th time that's happened in the U.S. this year. It came after the movie theater massacre in Lafayette, Louisiana, in July that left two dead and nine injured, which came after the mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in June that killed nine.

    There have been plenty of others. They just didn't make national news.

    Through it all, Congress has done nothing about gun violence. The last time lawmakers acted was in April 2013, when the Senate failed to pass a bill tightening background checks on gun sales. The Huffington Post got to thinking: Is there a level of violence that would cause a lawmaker to reconsider his or her opposition to gun control bills? A mass shooting every week? Another attack on an elementary school, this time in his or her home state?

    On Tuesday, HuffPost posed the question to nine senators who voted against the 2013 background checks bill. Most didn't really want to talk about it.

    1. Anonymous11:14 AM

      Vote every Republican you can out of office in the next cycle of voting. They are nothing more than 'unchristian' idiots, anti women, obstructionists and pro war!

      It looks like Alaska is going even more 'blue' in their recent elections - Juneau, the interior, etc. Bet the outcome is making the majority Republicans in their Alaska Legislature squirm - as well they should!

  23. Anonymous10:10 AM


  24. Anonymous10:18 AM


  25. Anonymous10:21 AM


  26. Anonymous10:48 AM

    What are the books in front of those poor kids faces going to protect them from?

    They would do better and be more safe if they are reading good books.

  27. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Who profits from turning schools into prisons? Is it the same folks who manufacture/sell firearms? What if we had a law that says you can't do both? Who would oppose such a law? Take their names and put them in school, I mean prison.

  28. Anonymous11:10 AM

    Neither of these drills will protect kids in their schools against a killer with a gun or a nuclear war. Total baloney!

  29. Anonymous11:18 AM

    HA HOO:

  30. Anonymous11:42 AM

    So they named the program "Our Kids Deserve It". WTF???

    Huh? What do they deserve? To be scared to death? Or shot at? Traumatized?

    Telling someone they "deserve" something can be either good or bad!!! That's the stupidest name they could have come up with, but this is Indiana, so there's that.

  31. Anonymous4:39 PM

    This is about as nuts as it gets. What they're pushing is more than most prisons, and where will the money come from when teachers already buy basic school supplies and kids are sharing textbooks?

    Epic Fail, and no environment for learning.

  32. Anonymous7:06 PM

    With the number of school shootings and weapons brought to school by the students - how is this going to help? Oh, they just get one classroom's worth? That's still 20 kids.


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