DeKalb Schools incident report from last month …
Students at [a DeKalb Schools High School] were placed on lockdown this morning as a result of two separate incidents that occurred on campus today.
In the first instance, DCSD Public Safety officers were called to the school after a report of a weapon on the premises. Two males, one a student and the other a non-student were apprehended and arrested. The non-student was found in possession of a firearm. Reports of an armed adult on campus are so far unsubstantiated.
The second incident at the same school that morning involved a stolen car that was tracked to the parking lot by DeKalb County Police. Following a foot chase, four individuals were apprehended and arrested. The theft occurred off school grounds. The two incidents were not related.
A total of six people were arrested on school property this morning.
I get updates like this far too often. What’s the plan to keep our schools safe?
I would like to hear from students, parents, teachers, administrators and the community at large.
I heard Bill Maher say on Friday “Schools that look like prisons have students that are more likely to go to prison. There are high schools that look like a college and those students are more likely to go to college. We gotta get all the schools to look like colleges.” As lovely as the thought is, it’s another useless platitude.
Do we want our high schools to look like and operate like prisons and be secure? Here’s what we’re looking at.
K-9s (“canine”), – K-9s like Rex and Rocky, tasked with locating drugs and weapons, are part of a new push for public safety in DeKalb Schools. They can smell dangerous substances left behind for more than a day. They can tell if an individual has handled and even used a firearm based solely on scent.
Metal Detectors – DeKalb Schools’ increased safety initiative also includes a pilot program with metal detectors at numerous high schools.
Fences – Numerous principals in DeKalb are contemplating fencing to enhance campus security. High schools are vulnerable at their many points of egress. Fencing can limit that exposure.
School Resource Officers (SROs) – Officers make roughly $45K plus benefits. They are sworn law enforcement officers, fully armed, and are responsible for providing security and crime prevention services at our schools.
The research is clear that smaller schools have less violence and produce better academic results. The research indicates that smaller schools tend to be safer and are generally better places for students to learn. Graduation rates are generally higher, greater teacher satisfaction, small schools are more flexible, there is less one size fits all, etc…
Allow Teachers to Carry Firearms – If our SROs can be trained to carry firearms, why can’t some teachers? Floyd County Georgia BOE rep, Jay Shell, asks on Facebook, “Is it time that we partner with our local law enforcement agencies to train our educators on how to use firearms?”. Alabama State Rep. Will Ainsworth plans on introducing a bill to the Alabama State Legislature that would allow trained, certified teachers to carry weapons on school campuses.
DeKalb Schools Superintendent Green is not a fan of gun toting teachers. “There’s training to be a teacher, and then there’s training to be a law enforcement officer,” DeKalb County School District Superintendent Steve Green said in a statement Thursday. “Both are unique careers with a specific purpose. We believe our teachers can be most effective by focusing on the task at hand — deep teaching and learning — while the district and its schools work closely with law enforcement on a collaboration of undercover and uniformed officers.”
Parents: it’s time to STEP UP, says a Florida Teacher of the Year
Within the last couple of years, DeKalb Schools has created a Student Support and Intervention Division to provide “Wrap Around Services” and address the diverse needs of students and families. The school district has also flooded failing schools with paraprofessionals (parapros), social workers, teacher coaches, etc … DeKalb Schools has added over 1,000 school house full/part time employees across the district since 2014.
Kelly Guthrie Raley, a Florida middle school Teacher of the Year, posted on Facebook this commentary to parents:
Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!
I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything! Parents: it’s time to STEP UP!