Home > Uncategorized > A Conundrum Schools Face: Why Advocate Spending on SROs and Protection When 5% of Mass Shooters are Under 20?

A Conundrum Schools Face: Why Advocate Spending on SROs and Protection When 5% of Mass Shooters are Under 20?

February 28, 2018

After reading an excellent editorial by Andrew Rosenthal in today’s NYTimes, I was compelled to respond with a comment that the newspaper “picked”:

“Everytown found that only 5 percent of the mass shooters it studied (over the past decade) were under 20.”

This makes me wonder why we are emphasizing the need for us to protect kids from each other by encouraging “if you see something say something” policies. It also makes me wonder if the emphasis on spending money on physical intervention (i.e SROs) and “protection” (i.e. door locks, surveillance cameras, and lockdowns) is as important as spending money on personal intervention (i.e social workers, psychologists, counselors, smaller pupil-teacher ratios, etc). Politicians seem to be willing to support money for police personnel and “things” to prevent violence in schools that would, presumably, be committed by students despite the fact that only 5 percent of the mass shooters were under 20… but those same politicians seem unwilling to support spending for personal interventions that might address the problems that ultimately manifest in the form of gun violence later. Mr. Rosenthal is correct: banning weapons designed to kill enemy troops is the best and most cost effective means of addressing school shootings.

This comment is particularly germane in my home state where the governor intends to spend $18,000,000 on “protection” while advocating passage of an Education Savings Account bill (SB 193) that will diminish the funding available for public schools making it increasingly difficult for them to fund the personal interventions that could really make a difference.

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