After the most recent shootings that occurred in Parkland, Florida, we are reminded one more time that our school children are sadly at risk.
This is an appalling situation in that as we parents grew up we were never faced with this reality. Many of you might recall the situation several years ago where workers were shooting up postal facilities. When is the last time you heard of one of these events? What changed?
I read an interesting story in the newspaper about the fact that school shootings occurred in Germany and other parts of Europe around ten years ago, but methods were discovered and implemented that have essentially put an end to these shootings. What did they do?
Two things, mainly: 1. In order to purchase a firearm, a psychological check is required prior to purchase. 2. Schools employ psychologists who are available to interact with ALL students. For those at risk, there is an avenue to discuss problems. For students and staff that observe an at-risk student there is the opportunity to speak to the psychologist and bring unusual activity to the attention of someone who may be able to help. Sort of; “If you see something, say something”.
Our police department has been proactively working with both the Bernardsville police department and with the school district to make sure there is a police presence at the school buildings during the day. Also, our special officer is working with the guidance department to develop relationships with the kids so they are comfortable speaking with an authority figure.
Personally, I believe that while it’s worthwhile having police on the scene, the larger question remains; Why does a person need a high capacity weapon of any kind? The dialogue on gun safety is ramping up and I hope you will find a way to engage in that effort so that no child or adult will ever need to walk into a school, concert, or public forum not knowing whether they are in a safe and secure place.
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