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Connecticut School Shooting

Anyone agree with me about this school shooting?

As I watch the horrific details of this shooting I am just in shock.  Even though it seems this scene has played out several times before, this one is hitting home more for me perhaps because I have 2 young children at Hance.  This community sounds similar to ours, upper middle class neighborhood, not inner-city.  The school is apparently locked and you have to be buzzed in to enter, just like Hance.  This could have been here and we could be dealing with the grief those parents are suffering with now.

Am I overreacting here, probably, but I can't be the only one feeling this right now.  There is some evil that can't be predicted or stopped sometimes, I realize that.  It seems to me though that this could have been prevented.  If there was an armed officer who checked in any visitor and searched them when they entered the school, would this nutjob have even tried this?  Nobody knows, but I would think it would have played out differently. 

Would this cost money?  Yes, but if we are gonna have several million dollar budgets for our schools, is it time that we just suck it up and say we are gonna have to do this to protect our kids?  It saddens me to think about it. I don't know if it would work, is possible, or if it would even be supported by the parents.  I just can't help but think we have to do something other than hope the odds are in our favor that this will never happen here.  Am I crazy?

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lizabeth December 14, 2012 at 09:22 PM
No, you're not crazy, you're a parent.
carloe December 14, 2012 at 09:46 PM
I've been thinking the same thing all day. Everyone gets buzzed in. Only those of us who are following the rules anyway check in and get a visitors badge. That's not security. Also I would like to see all classrooms have an emergency exit
Cindy Cusic Micco December 15, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Thank you, Jason, for sharing your thoughts with us. I think you tapped into what a lot of people thought or felt today.
another PR mom December 15, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I do not feel that an armed guard at our schools is the answer, As big as today's tragedy is it is extremely rare. Paying somebody to stand at the door every day with a gun for something that most likely will never happen is overkill and will disrupt the welcoming feeling that our schools have. Not to mention cause a huge financial burden on a district that is stretched to the limit. And seriously-if somebody was intent on a mass killing a guard would most likely not stop him. I don't believe for a minute it would have stopped today's gunman. Furthermore it appears that the staff knew the gunman so short of banning every single outsider, including parents, from the school there is just not much you can do.
a mom December 15, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I have been saying for several years that PRHS is ripe for a tragedy such as a mass killing. Students arrive in droves with their backpacks in tow. The lack of metal detectors dumbfounds me. I have first hand knowledge from working at the high school for years. I had my plan and had two places where I would take students and hide. Considering the rampant drug use, discontent of students and teachers, and lack of security my opinion is that a tragedy is only a matter of time. Years ago there was a threat made and we had a armed officer everyday from early spring until the end of the school year. If you believe that our high school is safe then I would have to say your head is buried in the sand. Pine Richland needs to wake up. There are so many students that suffer from mental illness and unless you have tried, admitting a child or adult an into the psych ward is no easy task. I know this from experience. We have very few hospitals for children with mental illness and diagnosing a patient and getting the proper medicine is tricky . I do not know what the answers are but please PRHS instal metal detectors in the high school. Mars has had them for several years.
Jason Baileys December 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM
You may be right, it may or may not have stopped him. Supposedly, he was able to fire 100's of bullets, does that change your mind at all? I said it will probably be all about the money and you may be right about that too. I just wonder if providing policeman is cheaper than say a 100 million dollar lawsuit. I'm sure there is insurance etc. for that possibility, but I don't know. I don't think you'd have to ban every single outsider, you just have them patted down etc whatever they (police) come up with to guard against the extreme. You get patted down walking into a Steeler game now. I'm not saying I have all the answers by any means,but don't we think it should at least be explored? How much would it cost, how many other schools do this? I just think hoping it will never happen here because its so rare isn't the answer anymore. One other point about that, I am a pilot. Engine failures/fires are very rare. Most pilots go through their whole career and never have one. We do practice them in the simulator every year though and are expected to review the procedures periodically INCASE it does happen! My example my be a little overboard, but I think there are parallels. Often after accidents, the investigations find flaws in procedures and they are changed. Does it cost the airlines $, yep. Do they resist it? Yes, but ultimately policies change. Oh yeah my engine failure came 2 years ago just at liftoff with a full boat of people. Everyone walked away.
Susan M. December 15, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Mars has a guard stationed at the metal detectors. Smart school district there.
James Dale Barrington December 16, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Jason, your impassion plea and outrage and fear is heard loud and clear, and the community (citizen and government) should respond with more than rhetorical platitudes. Hopefully, we as a nation can finally talk about why we have such a culture where violence is an easy alternative to making a statement/response with such tragedy. We have not been angry enough, - long enough to have an impact that's beyond a temporary nod of recognition. Talking together, and concerted citizen action from such as this needs to have two election cycles in view. We are a very violent nation with very dangerous toys and games to play with, which makes it hard if not near impossible to change the 'diet' we are addicted too. - This forum is a good place to start. Everyone's feelings ought to be heard. -- So many beautiful lives lost. So many beautiful lives in pain... We cannot fully stop something like this from occurring, but we CAN come close, and now is not too soon to do it.
another PR mom December 16, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Do you realize that less than one tenth of one percent of murders in our country are 'mass murders'? And out of that the number that happens at schools is much less. Your chances are pbetter that your plane goes down than this happens at our school. Do we want to take funding away from so many other things on this less than miniscule chance? Esp when it won't make a bit of difference? The gunman in CT blew the door down with his gun. Thats what crazy people do-they don't stop for a 'security check'. What I really think that we need to do is to empower our staff to 'profile' those that they believe to be not of sound mind. I would much rather see this and have them be wrong and perhaps offend a couple people. As a society we need to stop trying to be so politically correct that we will not jump in and point out someone that we believe could be a possible danger to others. We also need to make it easier to do this and mental health aid more available.
another PR mom December 16, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Here is an excerpt from a story that the NYT did a couple years ago about mass killings. I encourage you to click through and read this article as it takes a comprehensive look at this phenomenon. *Society has turned to law enforcement to resolve the rampage killings that have become almost a staple of the nightly news. There has been an increasing call for greater security in schools and in the workplace. But a closer look shows that these cases may have more to do with society's lack of knowledge of mental health issues, rather than a lack of security. In case after case, family members, teachers and mental health professionals missed or dismissed signs of deterioration. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/09/us/they-threaten-seethe-and-unhinge-then-kill-in-quantity.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
another PR mom December 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
And as for PRHS? Here is my suggestion: drug sniffing dogs doing random checks as well as random urine testing. If a child is found to have used or be in posession of any type of drug, immediate expulsion. No lawyer daddy or doctor mommy bailing their 'perfect' little sweethearts out. No pulling of strings. NO calling your buddy on the school board. Nothing. This goes on your record permanently and will most likely follow you forever. You do that I bet you see a lot of our PR kids clean up. Unfortunately I am guessing that most PR parents will find it much easier to hire someone to stand at the door of the school while making excuses for the children they have raised.
Susan M. December 16, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Unfortunately some of you have inaccurate information. They may have "known" the shooter, but he forced his way into the school, he was not purposefully let in. Also, there may only be a small percentage of murders that are mass murders, but we have seen this type of behavior with growing frequency in the past several years. I think the correct action to take would to be proactive. It can happen at any school at any time. It can happen at the movie theater, the store, or the mall. Most of us can't afford to walk around with an armed body guard, however, our children should be our highest priority. It may seem like it's a "waste of money" to have a armed guard at the school, but there is sufficient evidence that shows we need to go in that direction. As far as the elementary schools, NO ONE should be allowed into those schools without a secondary locked door. It is very easy to get buzzed into the door at RES and just go anywhere you want. The office not very close to the door.
Susan M. December 16, 2012 at 03:17 AM
There are A LOT of spoiled parents AND kids in this school district that get away with everything, because of "who they know"...it has become a snotty and pathetic area.
Jenna Bouvier December 16, 2012 at 04:04 AM
so sad poor babies... RIP sweet angels <3
Jason Baileys December 16, 2012 at 05:04 AM
My Dad had an interesting suggestion tonight. What about the National Guard? We are already paying them. Maybe they could train enough to do this job. That would eliminate the school budget problem. Someone above posted about the welcoming feeling at the schools, so they would probably not like this idea. Personally, I would rather explain to my kids there is a guy/gal at their school who is there to protect them in case someone lunatic was trying to harm them than what these parents are dealing with. I watched the show at 10:00 on CBS, he fired multiple times at these victims, I just can't comprehend the evil of this thing. These poor kids are going to be dealing with the things they saw for the rest of their lives. How do they even move forward after something like this? As a parent how do you send them to school again? Again, I think the dialog here is good, who knows what it leads to, but I appreciate all of your ideas and comments. I'm just trying to deal with this and it is really tearing me up.
Susan M. December 16, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Jason, I feel the same. I can't stop getting emotional..I cry at the drop of a hat. I know I couldn't go on if it were my child. How could I??? I love the National Guard idea, but there would be so many people that would fight that! At the very least, I think we need metal detectors at EVERY school with a security officer stationed beside them. The Mars High School has just that, and I think it is a wonderful idea. Peace Jason.
Elizabeth December 16, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Where is our letter from the school district???? Sounds like every other school district received one from their superintendent!
James Dale Barrington December 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
This is a good conversation going on. Could be the beginning of something... I would like to see sociologists, educators, psychologists, mayors, governors, etc. along with a great amount of citizens from every stripe involved in the discussion with solutions as the goal. Looking at the programs covering this tragedy is hard to watch - so sad. To bring to the surface these emotions with straight talk, and concern is a good thing. Staying with it until something is done to address these issues I'm afraid will have to come from the citizens...
Susan M. December 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Our Superintendent is vacationing until her last day of "work" on January 8th. She's already packed up her office and left.
Jason Baileys December 17, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Well I just saw that we got the email someone was looking for from the school administrators.
Cindy Cusic Micco December 17, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Jason - Could you forward the email to me at cindy.micco@patch.com? Thanks.
Elizabeth December 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM
10:00 PM on Sunday night! A little late if you ask me!
Jason Baileys December 21, 2012 at 08:55 PM
NRA is calling for Congress to appropriate money to have armed guards in every school by the time they return to school in January. Full disclosure, I'm in the NRA and have been for years. My father taught us from an early age that guns were to be treated very carefully and not as toys. Didn't want this thread to be about gun control and I'm glad it didn't turn into that. So does anyone think this will come to fruition?

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