As I rolled down my driveway and pulled onto the street Wednesday morning I turned the radio up and took a sip of coffee. A song was coming to an end as I reached to change the channel, knowing that I needed some music to get the blood pumping through my veins. The voice of a morning news broadcaster broke through the fading music as I reached for the stereo and froze my hand out stretched touching, but not pressing the seek button. I heard a shaky voice say, “we have reports of multiple stabbings at Franklin Regional High School.”
The broadcaster provided scant details of a school stabbing 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. I turned my radio off, preferring to continue my commute to work in silence and reflect upon why tragedies like this continue to occur in public schools.
Franklin Regional High School is about forty minutes from my house, depending on traffic. When I was in high school my school often competed against Franklin. During college I knew and socialized with many people who had attended there. A few years after graduation one of my Franklin buddies from college and I were roommates. To put it bluntly, the stabbings in a local Pittsburgh High School hit close to home because it happened in a school setting very similar to the one I attended as a teenager.
The senseless stabbings on Wednesday morning reinforced the unsettling truth that no place is insulated from violence. Evil exists in poor or rich communities and in urban or rural settings. There are no magical safety measures that can make a school, a movie theater, or a community gathering 100% safe.
We’ve reached a tipping point in this country on the issue of education and school safety. Unfortunately, the majority of the population thinks the issue is best addressed on the national stage.
Issues such as education in communities where we live, work, and send our kids to school should not be escalated to the state or federal level. These are very personal issues that should be settled by individuals, families, and the community.
After all, it is ultimately the responsibility of a child’s parents to keep their children safe, so why are vital decisions being made by the collective in a “one size fits all” manner?
Violent scenes like the one that took place Wednesday morning just outside of Pittsburgh never make sense upon review. This doesn’t stop “experts” from analyzing these random acts of violence and formulating action plans. These so-called “experts” plan to mitigate the threat of these tragic events occurring by implementing blanket regulations with the intention of making schools across the country safer.
Looking at the events that transpired in Murrysville, PA we can guess that the “decision makers” in Washington and in state capitols across the country will decide metal detectors need to be mandatory in all schools in order to ensure safety. This way of thinking is not the moral way to approach the topic and probably is not the most economical or effective method to protect schools. Metal detectors might be a great way to make school certain schools safer, but others schools could be better protected by teachers carrying handguns to protect their students. Ultimately, the market should dictate the subjects children are taught and also provide the appropriate security level.