School security proposal shoves aside prevention


School security proposal shoves aside prevention


Posted: 4/27/07

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones urged April 19 that the Ohio state legislature and Governor Ted Strickland consider drafting a new law that would require armed guards in all of Ohio's schools, colleges and universities. In the wake of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute shootings, during which a crazed student killed 32 students and faculty, debate within the Ohio General Assembly has focused heavily on how future tragedies of this sort can be prevented. Nonetheless, the extraordinary cost of this program and its doubtful effectiveness makes it a proposal that the legislature should overlook in favor of more proactive approaches that would act to prevent another school shooting.

The high cost of putting an armed guard in every Ohio school raises some serious questions regarding the state's ability to fund this program. Such a program appears to be a colossal waste of expenditures, especially given the fact that the state's budget is already in the red. Given the rarity of such attacks, it is neither prudent nor feasible to devote such a large amount of state resources to a program such as this and more cost effective measures can be implemented instead.

Additionally, the presence of an armed guard is unlikely to dissuade a deranged and suicidal student from carrying out a planned attack. It is naive to think that a security guard is a deterrent strategy, or that he or she would be able to intervene in time to stop a determined shooter. Furthermore, Jones' suggestion that teachers and faculty members could be trained and equipped with firearms is a frightening proposition. The answer to school violence does not rest in turning Ohio's public schools into armed camps, thus creating a culture of anxiety.

Placing armed contingents within Ohio's schools sends the wrong message that guns are the way to prevent violence. Indeed, Virginia Tech has one of the best campus police forces in the country. Rather, focus must be shifted toward a proactive preventive strategy that involves more funding for school counselors and an increased effort on behalf of teachers to spot troubled students and refer them to professional help. While schools should be allowed to place armed guards on their campuses and in their halls on a district by district basis, this decision should remain a local matter. Ultimately, Sheriff Jones' proposal is a reactionary measure that will do little except further Ohio's financial crisis and create an unnecessary police presence in elementary, high school and university buildings.


Original Source:<a href=> The Miami Student - April 27, 2007</a>




The Miami Student




Sara Hood


"Skotzko, Stacey Nicole" <>




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