Security measures may not prove fruitful

The solutions to school security are being examined around the nation, in the wake of school shootings that date back to Columbine (April 1999) and beyond. The Newtown, Conn., shootings in December 2012 forced home the point, again.

In our area, we have seen citizens step forward, as in the case of Martin County West Schools. There, a citizens group raises funds that it devotes to helping the school with security matters.

Among other things, Fairmont Area Schools has a school resource officer, i.e. a police officer who maintains a presence at the school.

At Blue Earth Area, a health and safety committee recommended locking the doors at all three campus sites during the school day. Visitors will have to use an intercom system to get buzzed in.

We appreciate the various ways in which schools try to keep students and staff safe. We also hope that they and the public understand that crazed shooters may not care about some security measures. Rapid response remains an important element in saving lives.

A school shooting in New Mexico this week demonstrated this. When a 12-year-old boy opened fire with a shotgun in a gymnasium, a staff member moved quickly, confronting the boy and getting him to drop the firearm. The school superintendent says staff has participated in active shooter training, which includes a speedy effort to find and disarm those threatening others.

We also remind everyone that a key to stopping a shooting – at a school or elsewhere – is often the time it takes to get a second gun to the scene. Armed people have an even better chance than those who simply must bull rush a shooter.