With the one-year anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School murders approaching, Broward County officials have been considering how to prevent a recurrence. According to the Washington Post, though, it would appear they’re leaving more than a few boxes unchecked:
[Kathy Koch, chief spokeswoman for Broward County Public Schools, said] “We are studying the observations [regarding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting] deepen our understanding of what happened, who was responsible, and what might have been done differently.”
“We are considering the best, most expedient ways to implement recommendations throughout all areas: security policies and procedures, training, communication systems, physical hardening, and threat assessments,” she said in the statement. “We hope that there will never be another assailant in any school anywhere, but we will do our best in Broward County Public Schools to be prepared to prevent another tragedy from occurring.”
Much of the focus for school security following mass shootings revolves around new technology, experts say, while the vulnerabilities more typically involve human failure, inadequate procedures and poor implementation of policies.
“They’re looking at the `wow’ but they’re not thinking of the ‘how.’ It’s, `Do something, do anything, do it fast and do it differently,” [said Ken Trump, a consultant who advises school districts on safety protocols]. “This is not going to be solved with a quick fix of more cameras, more hardware, more equipment, more technology. It’s people, policies, procedures, communications and systems failures.”
Then there’s this little gem from local-to-Parkland LE. Yeah, your handgun skills are perishable, which is why I am constantly pushing training. If you don’t train regularly you are doing something wrong. Find a way to train; do not be one of those “I forget/never had training” guys who fails at the defining moment of their lives.
Some Broward sheriff’s deputies “could not remember the last time they attended active shooter training,” and others could not remember what training they had received.
“A significant number of officers and deputies said that additional training would be beneficial; however, they also said that no amount of training can prepare you to face such an event,” the [public safety commission] report states. (Washington Post, Parkland Shooting Commission Describes School Security Lapses, Police Missteps)
I was hoping for a miraculous “let’s arm teachers, let’s end gun free zones” moment but it did not come. Not exactly a surprise, but..
Wait. That was the Washington Post. Check out what Fox News reported:
The panel investigating the Florida high school massacre recommended Wednesday that teachers who volunteer and undergo extensive background checks and training be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus to stop future shootings.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission voted 13-1 to recommend the Legislature allow the arming of teachers, saying it’s not enough to have one or two police officers or armed guards on campus. Florida law adopted after the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead allows districts to arm non-teaching staff members such as principals, librarians and custodians — 13 of the 67 districts do, mostly in rural parts of the state. (Fox News, Parkland Shooting Commission Recommends Teachers Be Armed to Stop Violence)
The vote is a start. Now let’s see it put into action not only in Broward County, but nationwide. As for the WaPo failure to include that detail, well, are you really surprised?