School boards need to make safety a top priorityPublished 8:44pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
It was another red-letter week when it comes to the safety and security concerns we all have when it comes to our schools.
Tuesday, a Dallas County High School student felt it was big of him to pull out a loaded, .22 caliber revolver and begin pointing it at another student during an argument.
For a split second, the thought had to cross the mind of this individual — 18-year-old Demetrius Shaw — that if he pulled out this handgun, he intended to use it. What other reason is there?
Now, rather than all the questions revolve around why he had a gun, what the argument was about, or even, what is to become of Shaw’s future, the focus will now turn to how this gun — a loaded gun — found its way onto one of our school campuses.
To this day, nearly six months after the fact, we have no idea how a loaded handgun was discovered on Selma High School’s campus. Maybe it was magic? That seems to be the only reason anyone can believe.
It is not our belief that schools should be turned into fortresses, but there is an expectation we as a community, and those of us who send our children to these schools, that our children will be safe, that they will have an environment that is conducive to learning.
There are thoughts now on the part of the Dallas County School System leadership to review the idea of metal detectors at schools. And, we’re sure the school board will discuss what happened during their meeting Monday.
But, what the Dallas County School Board should do, as well as the Selma City School Board, is make school safety and security the main topic of their discussion each and every meeting.
Each elected body should call for an extensive review of the safety procedures and guidelines and hold these discussions in public. These reports should provide information from experts and thorough evaluations of what can be done; and these results should be public.
Some might say that this is “only” the second gun found on a student in Dallas County this year — at least the second that we know of — but that in itself is a problem.
How many more have to be found, be loaded and pulled from a backpack with the intent to shoot before we consider this a fundamental problem to confront?