Hi My Loves∼
I hope you guys are all caught up on my blog posts! Today I am here because in light of the recent shooting in Jersey City I am compelled to put this call to action out there.
As many of you have heard or read, the shooting occurred within feet of a school. I read somewhere that all the schools in Jersey City were placed on lockdown. I don’t know if that’s true but it got me to thinking.
I work in education for a non-profit that will remain nameless. But I do work in a public school in an urban area. I work in the oldest building in the district (approx. 108 years old). It is shaped like one huge rectangle with an addition in back that makes it look like a T if you are looking down. With that said the building has various points of entry/exit. One door in particular is propped open with a rock in the morning because it connects to parking lot in back hence staff does not have to walk all the way around to front to enter.
There are over 30 classrooms, offices and spaces and of those many do NOT have keys to their door. I don’t know the numbers.
Why am I sharing this? Well the other day I was in a classroom during a lockdown drill. When security did their rounds our door was unlocked. He told us we needed to lock door and that’s when I learned the teacher didn’t have a key. After speaking with the teacher I learned many teachers do not have keys to their rooms. Those of you who know me well, know that I am a paranoid freak.
All these thoughts started running through my head. We were in one of the first classrooms near the stairwell which means in a real emergency, a real active shooter, we would be the first to go. Then I thought of all those babies, like OH MY GOD!
Since that day it’s just been running through my mind. I’ve heard that the administration has been trying to get keys from central office since September. The issue has not been resolved.
I don’t want to make it a race or socio-economic issue. But I think of my grandson’s school (suburban district) and their security is on point. There are two main doors to get through. You are not allowed to come into building without an appointment. If you’re dropping something off it gets placed in a drive-through window.
I am not saying nothing will happen there because we do know anything can happen anywhere; however it is evident the district has taken serious measures to keep children and staff safe. Isn’t that what all school districts should be doing? Especially in these times?
I’ve worked in urban and suburban districts and I’ve seen the disparity in school security. And I am not saying that all the schools in suburban area are doing great with the security, nor that every school in urban area are doing horribly. But we do see more schools doing horribly in urban areas than in suburban.
So here is my call to action to parents (mostly), but parents-to-be as well and community members!
Get involved. Ask questions. Visit your schools. Question your school’s security system. Question what the role of security staff is. We know that in some districts security guards are ill-trained and definitely not prepared to respond to this level of emergency. Ask about all the different entry/exit points in your school and how they are monitored. Ask if all rooms can be locked and have keys, including the gym, cafeteria, art, technology- ANY single room in the building that children visit and could potentially be in during an emergency. Ask to see their emergency drill procedures.
If you don’t like it, feel uneasy, or are not sure and have questions about the school security in your school, go to the board offices and/or the board of education meetings. Make calls and send emails (even better as it creates a paper trail and documentation). Talk to other parents and get them involved. Strength in numbers!!!
Be an advocate for children and school safety, your own and others.
This shooting in Jersey City was within feet of a school. Imagine if those shooters had tried to enter there? I don’t know what their security system is like, but I imagine its a whole lot better than where I am on a day to day basis. And if not, shame on them too.
Quite frankly, I want to go home at the end of the day and not be a victim of a shooting and/or intruder in what is supposed to be one of the safest places in our community.
Get vocal! Get involved! Ask questions! Keep children safe!
This blog post is in honor of all the victims of the Dec. 10 shooting in Jersey City.
Thanks for swinging by and reading my blog post. Remember to like, comment, follow and share!