School Safety: The Industry Shootings Has Created and What We Can
Do to Protect Our Children
By: Hannah Batsche
Students have one prevalent issue on their minds now, more than ever in history:
the possibility of a school shooting. Not only do they frequently see it in the news, but in
their day-to-day lives it is almost inescapable as well. Some have to participate in mock-
shooting drills and go through metal detectors every day before they enter school. Others
have bulletproofed backpacks, and tornado shelters that double as a place to hide should a
shooter come into their classroom. Essentially, living with this possibility has become
“normal.” While there are clearly security measures that are being taken, what more can
we do to keep the children of America safe from harm?
According to a study, school shootings are affecting the enrollment, performance,
and mental health of today’s children and teens. Mass shootings can also trigger posttraumatic stress disorder, which can lead to a constant feeling of anxiety and lack of a sense
of security. Other outcomes from school shootings can be hyper-vigilance, grief, loss, guilt,
changes in eating habits, inability to trust, resistance to school, uneasiness, decline in
academic performance, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, inability to express thoughts and
feelings, and increased anger, depression, and fear, among others.
I. WHAT IS BEING DONE AND WHO IS BENEFITTING
Some schools have implemented a “threat assessment team,” a group of mental
health, law enforcement and educational professionals who identify and support troubled
youths based on academic and social media-related observations to hopefully prevent an
at-risk student from becoming a threat. A recent federal report encouraged schools to have
an online tip form, a hotline, or an app, where people can voice their concerns. Then,
parents can be notified, and the student can be set up with academic tutoring, life skills
classes, and therapy. Although it can be hard to identify those who are struggling, letting a
student know they have a support system can make all the difference and can influence
their choices greatly.
A. The Industry
Unfortunately, the security industry has benefitted from this horrifying reality. In
2017, sales of security services and equipment to the education sector reached $2.7 billion.
The School Safety Advocacy Council, which holds a conference and expo about school
safety, also saw a spike in registration: up about 40 companies and 300 more guests than
usual. One school in Colorado spent $600,000 fitting every window with bulletproof film,