I realize we're all concerned about school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but this dude took it way too far. A man in Virginia has reportedly been arrested after walking into Sandy Hook Elementary School -- not THE Sandy Hook but another school in Strasburg, Virginia with the same name -- with a plank of wood labeled "high-powered rifle." He says he did it to make a point about the lack of school security.
The man, Christopher Garret Johnson, reportedly walked into the school "armed" with the 2 x 4 plank of wood that he'd labeled "high-powered rifle" and was stopped by a member of the school staff before coming into contact with any students.
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Police said he was trying to "make a statement" about school security. Uhh, yeah, dude. Adam Lanza already made a huge and tragic statement. We get it. We don't need you walking into a school and scaring the bejesus out of little kids.
Johnson is being held pending a mental health evaluation. Unfortunately, tragedies like this often bring out a lot of mentally unbalanced people. Remember the guy who called himself The Joker and threatened a mass shooting after the Aurora, Colorado killings? And we've already had another guy with 47 guns threaten to shoot up the elementary school where his wife worked in Indiana.
But what do we do about school security? Do we really want teachers walking around with guns? I can tell you that the first time a teacher feels threatened by a student and shoots him or her out of a Trayvon Martin-like misunderstanding, you can bet we'll all be saying teachers shouldn't have guns in schools! Not to mention that teachers have a tough enough time as it is just teaching our students. Now they're supposed to be armed guards too?!
Hiring security isn't a bad idea, but you still will get into the issue of when a security guard can draw a weapon. Because chances are these security guards are going to see a lot more students acting out than strange adults who wander onto the premises. On the other hand, it's become clear that mass murderers will strike anywhere -- even a school full of helpless little kids. Let's not even get into the types of people schools would hire for security. Let's just say not all of them are members of Mensa.
I've heard a lot of people say this is why they're going to homeschool their kids. NOT an option for everyone, especially for people who have to work, or who simply don't feel qualified to teach their children everything they need to know to succeed in today's workforce. Sure, you hear about the spelling bee champs who are homeschooled, but it's usually by former teachers. I personally would never dream I could teach any kid about advanced algebra or chemistry. Please, I failed chemistry. That's why I'm a writer!
What do you think should be done about school security?
Image via Jean Pichot/Flickr