But I also see the repercussions when a school makes the call to become more secure. It is inconvenient for the staff. It is inconvenient for parents. And it makes a publicly-funded facility less accessible to the public it serves. There must be a balance. We can heighten our awareness in the next three days. The adults on staff can be more visible in the halls and before and after classes. We can ask parents to sign in - like they should anyway - when eating lunch with their children or when visiting a classroom. It's all inconvenient.
The worst part about it is the motivation for awareness, the visibility, or any new procedures that are put into place. When do we allow our emotions to drive our policies? When do our policies promote fear in our children? Do we constantly watch over our shoulders, looking for "ghosts" that may or may not exist?
Do we do the same when we patronize Qdoba or McDonald's? Do we walk backwards into the post office? Do we have to get buzzed into the front door at WalMart?
Lots of people are calling for wearing certain colors in support of the fallen in Newtown, Connecticut. Many are calling for prayers? Several have expressed that we should hug the ones who are close to us. This may sound cynical, but experience tells me the compassion fades with time, only to be reignited by the next horrific news report. Is it possible that's the purpose of hatred - to remind us of the love that hides within us?
I'm simply going to do everything I can - as a finite human being - to protect the ones put in my charge. That does not mean I am going to project my own fears upon my children (or yours). It does not mean I am going to look at every single person as a possible threat to my own safety. It does not mean that I am going to be an additional victim of any insane, uncontrollably hostile person that makes it to the front page of the newspaper or the 24-hour news cycle on my TV.
My plan is to live my life, personally advocating for the people and beliefs that I hold close. If that influences the future, then so be it. It's what I did on April 19, 1995, September 11, 2001, and every day between and since. Stand with me! There are more good guys than bad guys on this planet; our actions just aren't as sensational to members of the media.
And if you are a little more inconvenienced by and changing policies, please understand the purpose is to protect your child.