When it comes to gun violence, truly hardening a school requires information and a nuanced approach.
The tragic school shootings of recent years have led to a great deal of discussion around “hardening” K-12 schools to gun violence. And, the concept of “hardening” usually conjures visions of metal detectors, armed guards, active shooter drills and any number of bullet-proof products, from windows to white boards.
Truly hardening a K-12 school system from gun violence, however, requires a more nuanced approach. First of all, disrupting the normal flow of education with pat-downs and other intrusive activity can have a detrimental effect on students by instilling the notion that they are constantly in danger, or that the school perceives them as a threat. The tradeoffs between security and the student experience need to be considered, particularly when it involves introducing more stress on kids who already have to spend too much of their childhood participating in active shooter drills. And, tighter security does not necessarily require additional disruption to normal activities.
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