Bullied Students Sneak Thousands of Guns Into Schools

Bullying victims are sneaking hundreds of thousands of firearms, knives and clubs into U.S. high schools, according to a chilling new analysis that carries the eerie echoes of one recent mass school assault and two potential near misses.

Extrapolating from a survey of American high school students by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that bullied students who are threatened or injured by a weapon on school property were eight times more likely to then choose, themselves, to carry a weapon to campus.

More alarming: Bullying episodes have a cumulative effect, vastly boosting the likelihood that a chronically harassed student will choose to pack a weapon before returning to a high school, the study found.

Specifically, bullied students who have endured four types of aggressive clashes at school — being verbally tormented, sustaining a physical assault, suffering personal property theft or damage, and cutting school due to safety concerns — are nearly 49 times more likely to have recently carried a weapon to school and 34 times more likely to have recently smuggled a gun into school, the study found.

via Bullied Students Sneak Thousands of Guns Into Schools – NBC News.com.


Police in schools ‘not the answer,’ says NAACP Legal Defense Fund

“Enhanced police presence in schools is not a panacea for preventing the violence we saw in Newton, Connecticut,” Damon Hewitt, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Education Practice Group, said in a statement. “Instead, adding police and armed security to schools often means that normal student behavior becomes criminalized. The negative consequences of increased police activity is felt most sharply in schools with large numbers of African-American and poor children.”

via Police in schools ‘not the answer,’ says NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


A Gun Would Make Me Feel Safe, as Long as I Never Need to Use It

If I told a kid we used to practice protecting ourselves in school from a nuclear blast, he might react: Are you kidding? That’s bizarre! Were you really worried about a nuclear attack? Really?

I have a similar reaction, today, knowing that school children have drills to practice protecting themselves from terrorist attacks or mass murderers. It’s beyond bizarre; it’s just unthinkable.

image of an UziI work in a school, now, and recently we had a drill that eerily reminded me of those air raid drills from my childhood. As I hid in the bathroom with co-workers and students behind a locked door, I had a thought; I wouldn’t want to die in here without putting up a fight. I said, out loud, “I want a gun in here”.

Yes, having access to a gun would have made me feel safer and more secure. My thoughts of being defenseless against an armed attacker were disturbing.

Upon reflection, though, I’m not sure having a gun available in case of an emergency, like a fire extinguisher, is the best idea. A fire extinguisher, for example, is only useful when a fire is small, before it gets out of control. Only a fool would try to use a fire extinguisher on an out-of-control fire. And by the time a situation becomes a mass shooting, it is already out of control. Would it be wise for teachers, who likely have no military or law enforcement training, to open fire in the middle of such chaos? Even professional law enforcement officers have been known to get confused when bullets start flying (see this two part video from ABC News: http://ow.ly/gpyuv and http://ow.ly/gpyJA).

Or what if a student gets hold of a school gun and thinks it is a toy? Innocent people get shot accidentally that way.

On the other hand, guns could be kept securely in schools, so that only authorized people would have access to them. But what about me and the others hiding behind those locked doors in our potential death traps? I’m sorry, but by the time the proper authorities decide when and how and who is going to use a gun, we could all be dead.

Nevertheless, if I am ever trapped in that bathroom, facing a life-or-death confrontation with an armed and violent attacker then, yes, I would prefer to have a gun available to defend myself. I would be a fool, though, to think that a gun will prevent insane or violent behavior and will shield me from all harm.

Frank Luntz, GOP Pollster: The NRA Isn’t Listening With Proposal For Armed Guards At Schools

Frank Luntz, a top Republican strategist and pollster, said Wednesday that the National Rifle Association’s recent calls for armed guards to be stationed at every school in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre suggested the organization isn’t listening to public opinion on the issue.

“The public wants guns out of the schools, not in the schools, and they’re not asking for a security official or someone else,” Luntz said on CBS’s “This Morning,” responding to a proposal first floated by top NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre during a press conference last week.

“I don’t think the NRA is listening. I don’t think that they understand,” Luntz continued. “Most Americans would protect the Second Amendment rights and yet agree with the idea that not every human being should own a gun, not every gun should be available at anytime, anywhere, for anyone. That at gun shows, you should not be able to buy something there and then without any kind of check whatsoever. What they’re looking for is a common-sense approach that says that those who are law-abiding should continue to have the right to own a weapon, but that you don’t believe the right should be extended to everyone at every time for every type of weapon.”

Luntz conducted a survey of gun owners both affiliated and unaffiliated with the NRA earlier this year, which found broad support for certain provisions that would restrict the sale of guns.

Among NRA members, 74 percent said they support background checks as a requirement for concealed carry permits. Recent polls of the broader American populace have showed higher levels of support for that and other gun control measures which the NRA has historically opposed.

via Frank Luntz, GOP Pollster: The NRA Isn’t Listening With Proposal For Armed Guards At Schools.

How Much Would It Cost to Put Guards with Guns in Every Public School?

The National Rifle Association ended its week-long silence following the horrifying massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and they think it shows we need more guns. At least in schools.

That was NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre’s big proposal at his press conference — to put armed security in every public school in the country. Here are the top three facts you need to know about it.

1. Most people think it’s the best approach. In the wake of the Newtown shooting, Gallup asked people what they thought were the best ways to stop school shootings in the future. Putting more police in schools topped the list, with 53 percent saying they thought it would be “very effective” at preventing these kind of tragedies. And this was unanimous across the political spectrum. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agreed on this in almost equal measure, as you can see below.

2. But studies have shown armed guards may make students feel less safe at school. As Brad Plumer of the Washington Post points out, a 2011 study found that visible safety measures in schools, like armed security, made many students feel less safe — which can make learning harder.

3. It wouldn’t be that expensive. Here’s some simple math. The median salary for police officers is $55,010 and there are about 99,000 public schools in the country — and of those, about a third already have armed guards. Putting police in the remaining schools works out to an annual cost of about $3.6 billion, which is really more like $4 billion or so when you factor in benefits as well. That’s not even a rounding error when it comes to the federal budget. It’s even smaller than the foreign aid budget — a point LaPierre demagogued — despite foreign aid making up less than 1 percent of overall spending.

But the NRA might be putting a different price-tag on this project: zero. It named former Arkansas representative Asa Hutchinson to lead this new school safety initiative, and he said it would use armed volunteers, not cops.

In either case, it’s far from clear how much it would help. It’s not exactly anywhere close to conclusive, but remember that armed security didn’t stop the mass shooting at Columbine back in 1998.

There’s a long list of possible actions to take in the wake of Sandy Hook, including but not limited to: banning certain types of guns; banning certain types of high-capacity magazines; increasing spending on mental health services; taxing ammunition; increasing police presences at schools, or many/all of the above. Just don’t expect the NRA to endorse a solution that leads to fewer guns or ammo.

via How Much Would It Cost to Put Guards with Guns in Every Public School? – Matthew O’Brien – The Atlantic.

Orange County (NC) Schools posts deputies in elementary schools

HILLSBOROUGH – Orange County Schools posted a police officer or sheriff’s deputy in each of its six elementary schools this week to reassure uneasy parents in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill Police Departments have also increased their patrols around elementary schools this week, either on their own initiative or at the request of the district.

“I think it’s fair to say that the officers that have volunteered to come to our elementary schools have wanted to make a visible show of support for our school communities,” Durham Public Schools spokesman Chip Sudderth said.

The increased security at Orange County elementary schools was not due to any specific threat, said spokesman Michael Gilbert, but just how Superintendent Patrick Rhodes wanted to address any concerns parents may have had this week. The extra police presence will end Friday, when students leave for the holiday break.

When Orange County students return Jan. 2, Rhodes will meet with Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass to assess the program and discuss the possibility of school resource officers SROs, being posted at the elementary schools in the future.

All the district’s middle and high schools have permanent SROs when school is in session, a common practice in Triangle school districts. It is unusual for police officers to be posted in elementary schools, however.

“There aren’t any long-term plans to place SROs in elementaries right now,” Rhodes said. “I don’t know if it’s a possibility. All those things are driven by budgetary factors. There may be other ways to add that same sense of security.”

Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash said he was not aware of any discussions in the district to post police officers in every elementary school.

Orange County Schools completed a review of its security procedures and crisis plans Tuesday with on-site visits to all the schools from the district’s safety officer, who made recommendations for improvements. The district has a sophisticated crisis response plan due to a federal emergency preparedness grant it received in 2008.

“We have cameras in every school, detailed, comprehensive and actionable safety plans, threat assessment training by national experts and exercises with the sheriff’s department,” Rhodes said. “We’ve got a very good safety plan.”

Nash said Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will be interested in seeing the final report of investigators examining the security measures at Sandy Hook Elementary after the shooting to compare security plans and re-examine what can be improved.

via chapelhillnews.com | Orange County Schools posts deputies in elementary schools.

Utah boy brings gun to school, cites Newtown fears

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities say a Utah sixth-grader caught with a gun at school told administrators he brought the weapon to defend himself in case of an attack similar to the mass shooting last week in Newtown, Conn.School officials say the 11-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault after other students told police he pointed the handgun at them on a field at a suburban Salt Lake City elementary school.Officials say school staff confronted the boy in class after hearing he had a weapon and seized the unloaded gun and ammunition from his backpack Monday.Authorities have not released the childs name and will not say where he got the gun. No one was injured.The boy was due in juvenile court later Tuesday.

via Utah boy brings gun to school, cites Newtown fears – wwws column on Newsvine.