School Security: Safe but Subtle

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School Security: Safe but Subtle

The most infamous and deadly act of violence to occur in a U.S. school were the events of April 20, 1999. In Littleton Colorado two teens went on a shooting and bombing spree that left 15 dead and 24 wounded before they shot and killed themselves. During the rampage, the two fired about 900 rounds of ammunition from two sawed off shotguns, a 9-mm semiautomatic carbine, and a semiautomatic handgun. Police also later found more than 30 bombs placed throughout the school (Brock, 2001).

In light of recent acts of violence in the nation’s schools, school safety and security have become a hot topic. However, the issue of school safety goes beyond student violence. It includes property damage, theft, and anything else that concerns the overall well being of schools. While it is important to create a safe environment in schools it is also necessary to make sure students feel comfortable in this atmosphere. The security can not be so overbearing that it becomes a negative tactic that gets in the way of the students main objective, learning. Barely noticeable cameras, ID cards, and security guards without uniforms can help generate this safe, but comfortable learning environment. On the other hand metal detectors and mini police forces may be a little too reminiscent of George Orwell’s novel, 1984, or even modern prisons. School security should not be overbearing or obtrusive where it gets in the way of a comfortable environment that is conducive to learning in the nation’s schools.

Schools are safe places. However, the American public has become increasingly concerned with crime in schools and the safety of students. In part, this concern has been shaped by the highly publicized acts ...

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U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2003). Indicators of School Crime and Safety; 2003. Retrieved April 28, 2005 from

Watson, R.J., & Watson, R.S. (2002). The School as a Safe Haven. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Wright, Joe. (2004). Let’s See Some ID. American School & University, 76(7), 56-57. Retrieved April 14, 2005 from Academic Search/EBSCO database.
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