Safety of our children should always be a top priority. Lately, what the measures needed to keep our children safe have changed as the threats they face appear to have become much more dire.
As of May 25, according to information compiled by CNN, there have been 23 school shootings in which someone was hurt or killed. That shakes out to about one a week. Although not all have been mass shootings — the numbers include shootings in fights and gang and domestic incidents — the numbers make clear the dangers that exist at a place most of us have always considered to be safe zones. Most alarming are clearly the incidents like in Parkland, Fla., and Santa Fe, Texas, where combined 27 people have died this year in mass shootings.
We are lucky locally to not be on the list and pray we never make it. To help ensure we stay off of it, the Glynn County School System is taking a holistic approach to campus safety. They are going beyond hiring more school police officers to consider everything from fencing to how doors lock at every school. Throw in more security cameras, keeping track of people who are on campus and specialized training for teachers and administrators on how to respond to an incident and our local schools are set to be as protected as possible.
Schools police chief Rod Ellis is employing the rings of security concept he learned during training in Israel in 2013.
“You have to think beyond the bad guy with the gun coming through the front door of the school,” Ellis told The News last week.
The approach focuses on the multiple, overlapping elements of security that help keep schools safe. Those include cyber security, social media monitoring and other technology, physical security and addressing the human element.
“We want to have all our schools at the same level,” Superintendent Virgil Cole told The News recently.
If that means spending some money for new fencing and gates at Glynn Academy’s downtown Brunswick campus that has city streets running through it and buying new security cameras and automatic locks at elementary schools, then the investment seems worth it.
Schools should be places where children feel safe and where their parents feel comfortable leaving them every day. We know there will always be a chance of something terrible happening, but we want our community to rest easily knowing everything that can be done is being done.
We applaud the school system’s efforts to beef up security at all area schools. There is simply too much at stake not to take on this important initiative.