Is the Next School Board Shooter Coming to Your Meeting?

Posted by on December 16, 2010

Economic problems. Mental health issues. Frustrations at a boiling point.

Does this describe anyone in your school community?  Could they be the next person to walk through your school’s Administration Building doors or  into your next school board meeting?

In a December 15, 2010, article entitled, “School board shooter in Florida had frustrated, turbulent life along with interest in anarchy,” the Associated Press described the shooter at a Bay District Schools meeting on Tuesday as follows:

“Clay Duke was a troubled, broke ex-con with bipolar disorder, an interest in anarchy, a wife whose unemployment benefits had run out and frustrations that reached their boiling point on a day circled on his calendar at home.”

My first thought when I read this was: “This describes half the people I run into in public any more.”  Well, maybe not half, but there sure seems to be more and more fitting the description today than there was two to five years ago.

Economic pressures continue to mount onto already stressed families.  Increased incidences of divorce, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse, crime and violence, and other societal ills are readily foreseeable.

Yet ironically, at the same time, school districts around the nation are cutting prevention, security, and preparedness funding. In reality, this is a time when we are likely to see increased threats to school safety and thus need more, not fewer, layers of prevention and protection.

Today’s news buzz and chatter behind-the-scenes around the country suddenly focused on security measures at school board meetings and at administration sites.  One has to wonder: Why was the same buzz not going on this time last week? 

The “perfect storm” exists for more crisis incidents to occur.  How many more must occur before we end the “penny-wise and pound-foolish” approach to school safety during tight budget times?

What say you?

Ken Trump

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