Even more important than providing an excellent education is the task of protecting students, and Decatur City Schools is taking the responsibility seriously.
The Dec. 14 shooting of 20 children and eight adults in Connecticut brought renewed urgency. Since then, DCS has evaluated the security of each of its schools.
One plan arising from the evaluation is the installation of cameras and buzzer systems to control access to schools, where feasible. Schools also are making procedural changes, including a requirement that visitors show identification.
One thing DCS is not planning is arming its teachers or administrators with guns.
“I have not talked with any employees, but I don’t think any of them got into teaching because they wanted to carry a weapon to school,” Superintendent Ed Nichols said.
State Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, said he would file a bill to give superintendents and school boards the authority to let employees carry guns. It’s a bad idea that is much more likely to cause deaths than to prevent them.
The schools system and the Decatur Police Department share the costs of a successful School Resource Officer program, which locates armed police officers in several schools. If officials become convinced that schools need armed protection, it should be through expansion of this program.
Our schools never will be completely secure, but the school system is taking the right approach.
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