There are some things that are too big to even think about, much less discuss. That’s how I’ve felt about the horrors that played out in Connecticut this past week, and I’ve actually seen almost no coverage of the day and know only the basics. However, without fail, every single time I have passed a television I have heard the very same question being debated: Are our schools safe enough?
While I’m not ready to discuss the details of what happened to those babies in that building, having spent quite a few years inside the walls of a public school building, I actually do know the answer to this question:
Yes they are, and no they are not. You see, it’s all according to what you want…or maybe I should say that it is all according to what the taxpayers in their particular school districts want and are willing to pay for, and that truly is the bottom line here.
First, just how much security do they want for the schools in their district? Do they want metal detectors put in place so that each and every person can pass through them each time they enter the building? Of course, each detector would require paid monitoring administrators.
Do they want everyone who enters every one of their school buildings to pass through a body scanner as we do in airports today, with paid security guards who administer these scans?
Do they want all doors locked to the outside all the time with paid security guards at each to act as monitors?
Do they want armed guards walking all halls of all of their school buildings at all times so that their children completely lose the essence of all that is school and instead offer something that would mirror a military existence for their children?
And what about outside recess? Do they want to keep the children inside all day because of the possible danger awaiting them on the playground?
Once these questions have been asked and answered, the taxpayers, the parents of children in individual school districts, have to get to the second by answering the question that ALWAYS makes the decisions of how schools will be run: How much are they willing to spend?
Obviously, the above would require spending mega millions for a district to put it into place in all school buildings within the district.
Today it is easy to say that we want whatever it takes, whatever it costs to ensure that days like this cannot happen again. At some tomorrow, however, every single one of us will think back to the days of our own childhood, our old “School days, school days, good old Golden Rule days…” and when we do, we aren’t going to be quite so sure…
I don’t know, but I do know that taxpayers in every school district in this country have some very, very big thoughts to think and then some very, very big decisions to make. AND I know positively that if they wait for some pie in the sky “they” to pay for what they want, it simply will not happen, and maybe that is as it should be.
But for now, for those in Connecticut, we owe those whose lives have been destroyed the chance to grieve, no fighting, no politicizing the issue, and certainly no blame placed on anyone but the killer. We owe them that much, don’t we?
And if you happen to be wondering about the photos I’ve chosen to use, they are personal photos of my youngest grandson who happens to be the exact same age as the children who lost their lives, just a little boy who does little six-year-old things….just as they did.
It suddenly makes those children in Connecticut seem a whole lot closer to my house, my life, and my heart.