In an attempt to protect students from shootings, Florida is considering a bill to require installation of panic alarms in all public school classrooms (“Florida Considers Panic Alarms for Schools to Respond to Shootings,” The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 13, 2020). The silent alarms would transmit information to 911 dispatchers about the location of the caller.
But this is a little like closing the barn door after the cow has escaped. I say that because it will still take far too much time for police to arrive. In fact, armed security officers on campus have not been sufficient to protect students. That’s why critics have proposed allowing teachers to be armed as long as they have undergone sufficient training.
Shootings on campus take place too fast to rely on external force. Yes, it sounds reassuring to have panic buttons in every classroom, but it is a comforting delusion that it will make a difference.
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