Could it happen here?
December 28, 2012
I am sad and angered at the recent tragedy in our country's schools. In California, schools are underfunded. As I understand it (and I might have misinterpreted the presentation): The legislature is breaking the laws that they voted for and under-funding schools. If all California schools got the funds they are supposed to, I would expect that safety of our children would be heightened.
Some years ago, I sat through a Columbine presentation. The then-NC schools Superintendent Kurt Stendrup pulled together the presentation; he put out offers to all NC schools site management and law enforcement in the county. I learned a lot from this presentation. We saw pictures and video that was not seen publicly before. Actual Columbine staff and law enforcement was there and talked, in detail, about what the problems were:
1. Not knowing where students were on campus.
2. Communications — all of the first responders were on different radio frequencies; the phone system locked up.
If all California schools got the funds they are supposed to, I would expect that safety of our children would be heightened.
3. There was no way for teachers to lock their rooms without going outside the door.
There has been a lot of positive work creating a better way to run the schools during a crisis. District and site staff has been working, training and overall becoming aware of the fact it could happen here. My kudos to all the people trying. The problem is funding. The state needs to get its act together and, instead of cutting education funding, just get it up to where it should be.
I lived on these high school campuses for 12 years. During those years and after I attended the Columbine presentation, I did deep soul searching. What would I do if confronted with a "bad guy?" I am not trained to disarm a person … I probably would confront the "bad guy" and die trying to save the lives and futures of students. Just my personal thoughts.
Donald R. "Chris" Christensen lives in Grass Valley.