10/16/06 — Safe not sorry: Knowing how to handle tragedy is best defense

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Safe not sorry: Knowing how to handle tragedy is best defense

No one wants to think about a shooting happening in Wayne County. A nice community like this, a parent would be justified in thinking, shouldn’t have that sort of violence. That is a worry for a larger county or city.

And, it is probably a safe bet that the parents, school personnel and other resident s of the two recent communities struck by school shootings probably did not think they needed to think about the possibility either.

But that was in the old days. Today, shootings happen in schools of every size and socioeconomic level — and being prepared is a community’s best defense against tragedy.

Stiffer rules for unescorted visitors, heightened security at pick-up and drop-off as well as increased teacher presence in the hallways and school yards are good first steps.

But there is more that should be done as well.

Giving children a safe place to call if they suspect a classmate might be a danger to himself or other students as well as a more defined list of what to look for as a warning sign are good ways to catch a problem before it becomes a tragedy.

And knowing — and practicing — what to do in case a shooting or other disturbance occurs could save lives.

The world is different today. Schools have to worry about much more than just senior class pranks.

Being prepared just might be our best defense.

Published in Editorials on October 16, 2006 11:09 AM