Will Our Schools Ever be Safe?

I am still sitting here just upset as can be over the latest school shooting. If you haven’t heard about it, yesterday an armed gunman took several students hostage in high school in Bailey, Colorado. A 53-year old man whom students say was dressed like a student entered a classroom, fired a warning shot to the floor and told students to line up against the chalkboard. He then went and tapped the students with a gun and either told them to stay or leave. He only had girls stay behind, six of them as of current reports.

The man then held the six girls hostage and according to reports, assaulted them in a sexual nature. He eventually let four girls go and then abruptly stopped negotiations with the police. The police then decided to storm the room using explosives; which is when the man shot a 16-year old girl to death before turning the gun on himself.

I am not sure about all of you, but because this took place in Colorado and so close to Columbine (evidently an hour away), this whole thing just leaves me speechless. A young girl is dead, killed in a place she is supposed to be safe: school. I can’t shake this anger inside of me over this. It leaves me wondering: What can schools do to be truly safe?

I don’t know the facts on this specific school system or this school in general. I am certainly not trying to lay blame, but how did this armed man, obviously an outsider, make his way into the school so easily? Were all of the doors locked? Did students let him in? Or were the doors unlocked in this small town because small towns feel they are safe towns?

I really don’t know how it all could have happened. I assume the residents there are asking the same question. All I know, as a teacher and as a parent of children who will one day attend school, just what is being done to make schools safe? How can we truly protect our children in a place that once felt so secure? Just what can this nation, not just schools in general, do to make the place where kids are educated, a safe place?

I am so hopeful that school safety becomes even more of a priority after this. I am so hopeful that someone, somewhere will step up and demand this senseless violence be stopped. I am even more hopeful that we as a nation listen and do what needs to be done. How can we protect our schools and our children?

I for one can’t take another act of violence at a school. I just can’t.