Monday, February 18, 2008

Flush with Money or Money Flushers

More money to being spent on a gatekeeping system to keep intruders out of public schools? (Tulsa World article 2-11-08).

I have a better idea. Instead, let’s build underground facilities with secure walkways between buildings, and institute mandatory lock down upon entry. We could then ban all outside clothing, backpacks, and electronics. I'm sure these ideas have already been considered, but if we put a guard on every tower for outside time and then constantino wire…

Why are we wasting the money on yet another fruitless endeavor? There are two reasons for increased security measures, to placate fearful parents or to minimize liability; neither of which justifies added expense in this area.

Reasonable and rational people know that schools aren’t built as lockdown facilities—nor can they be secured while children race across an open campus in pursuit of lunch and recess. Our best efforts cannot insure our children’s complete security.

I have an nine yr old in second grade and I’m aware of his school’s futile attempt at safety. I check in and out at the volunteer desk, and must now present photo id to pick up my son who, even on my worst hair day, could pick me out of a line-up. This measure will, in no stretch of the imagination, protect my son.

I sit in the parking lot and I watch while people go in and out of that school on legitimate business, the repairmen, inter-school delivery, day care pick-ups, etc. and I can envision no possible way to prevent an intruder who was intent on destruction. I just imagine the volunteer racing up the open hallway after him yelling, "Wait, you haven't checked in!"

If our intent is to pretend vigilance and to present yet another deterrent or to placate litigious persons, let's once again roll out the x-ray machines that languish unused in the entry of these schools—another remnant from the last security frenzy. Lastly, we could purchase the crossing-guard a new official-looking uniform.

P.S. And then let’s talk rationally about neglected video survellience on buses and the true threat from within.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

...training in deception

What are we teaching in the high schools?

One success of increased security measures is that my teenagers are feeling increasingly mistrusted, and deceived. With such treatment, they can’t help but develop into youth who are untrustworthy. Why are they treated as such?

Weekly, I’m entertained by tales from school of how teens must outwit the newest security measure that encourages law-abiding youth to connive and deceive in order to move past the limitations that they see as futile and recognize as insidious encroachments to their liberties.

The thinking has become: "Toss your cell phone in the bushes while waiting in line for the search." "If you are too dumb to think of a way to ditch the system, then you deserve to get caught."

My tenth grader says one day the teacher warned the students of a backpack search outside in the hallway after school and told the kids to hand over their illegal cells and she would "protect" them.

She collected 25 from 27 students and promptly took them to the office.

WHAT ARE WE TEACHING?

Even my son, who doesn't carry a cell phone could see the entrapment training taking place. Kids may have no rights, but the training we are giving them is to deceive. Thanks schools.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

...developing bus trust

Please don’t spend any more money on outside threats without fixing the threat within! I'm more concerned with the pressing concern of my children being unable to ride the bus without fear.

I recommend installing video cameras or adult monitors (in camouflage with pellet guns is probably pushing it) on buses first.

The sure fire way to get my teen up at 5 a.m. is the gentle reminder that his sister is leaving with the car, but "don't worry, you can catch the bus." I've never seen a 9th grader move faster.

There is a shortage of seats, the verbal abuse is absurd, and the other things that happen on the buses are abhorrent. Last year, my then Sophomore daughter (and in response, I) reported teenagers engaging in oral sex on the way home from school. Both children would prefer to take my car (which is as old and more cranky than I am).

I realize that this issue has been considered and I know videos are no answer, because who then will monitor the monitors, etc., but more money flung at a exterior security processes that for the most part will serve to do no more than falsely assuage fear and further complicate parenting—no way!

Just venting futilely,

Terina Dee

A parent clinging to the hope that there are only 3 1/2 years of high school left and just praying for an end to the social degradations of school before my grade-schooler gets there.