As a child of the 80’s and teenager of the 90’s, I can remember mischievous events in school such as throwing your food at lunch or a bullied kid finally getting his revenge on the playground afterschool creating such an uproar among the faculty and administration. Occasionally, a test would be interrupted by a 10 minute fire drill where we’d all get a chance to walk, not run, to the nearest designated exit and decompress for a few minutes outside with friends. How times have changed…
On April 20, 1999, a nation watched in horror as the unthinkable happened at Columbine High School. As live aerial footage aired, people watched students frantically barging through the doors and escaping with their lives salvaged as gunmen, fellow students, opened fire on their classmates and inflicted any pain and fear they could in a short span of time. It wasn’t until we were able to turn to the video surveillance footage that we understand how horrific this really was. Fast forward 13 years, December 14, 2012, a lone gunman burst through a door and opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. 26 dead, 20 of them 1st grade students. I’m not sure that anything could have prevented tragedies like this from taking place, but one measure can be taken across schools that will help instill peace of mind in students and faculty alike.
Implementing video surveillance cameras and access control on doors is becoming more prevalent across the country. Schools that do not have a security camera system already installed are seriously weighing the benefits of making the investment. It’s an industry wide belief that soon, money will be budgeted and earmarked for Video Surveillance in school districts across America, similar to textbooks and technology.
It’s a sad state we’re in when schools have to begin investing money in surveillance cameras and access controlled doors. However, its more tragic to hear about these random school shootings taking place with little resistance to the perpetrator. When it comes to keeping our children safe in school and taking every security measure possible to do this, how much is too much? Lives are precious and our children’s lives are priceless. Too much doesn’t exist.