A Westport mother of middle school students writes:
As I watch the news in tears this morning, I see kids running out of a high school in Florida away from an active shooter. I think about the parents and friends who lost loved ones. So I wonder: Are we doing enough?
As a mom, my main job is to keep my children safe. When I put them on the bus in the morning I’m worried, afraid, just not sure if they are going to a safe place. I know some of these events are not preventable but still I ask the question: Are we doing enough?
I have often thought it’s time we place an armed guard at the entrance to our schools. I’ve wanted to ask this question for years but been afraid to, because I know it sounds drastic. But when is the right time?
These events are tragic, and happening more frequently. So I’m not afraid to ask this question anymore. It’s time to start the discussion. There have been 18 school shootings this year, and we are not even 2 months in. I think drastic response and change is absolutely necessary.
The guard at our middle school is the nicest, sweetest person but he is in no way prepared to protect our kids against a shooter. Nor are the locked doors if it’s a person someone knows. An armed guard gives our children a fighting chance. Aren’t they worth it? We place armed guards at banks, national monuments, train stations. Why not our schools?
Also, what is the protocol if someone is concerned that a student is going to act out? We often hear that the perpetrator was a troublemaker, bullied or depressed. We need a way for kids to express their concern if they fear someone is on the brink of doing something destructive. It needs to be anonymous and easy; otherwise kids won’t do it.
I think the process should start at middle school. Then there should be a plan to address the concern with the parents — mental health counseling, understanding if they have access to weapons, social media observance, etc.
Is there something like this in place, and I don’t know about it? Perhaps at the high school?
I’m tired of watching news stories like this. I’m sure our government will not act to solve this issue, which makes it more important that as a town we take it upon ourselves to do something more — to be a model for others. I don’t know what the answers are, but I can’t just sit back and wait. I’m angry, worried and tired!
Are we doing enough?