Amid a recent shooting in Banning, parents and community members have rightfully questioned whether their children are safe in school when there are few security officers on hand.
Security in schools has always been a top priority, but recently it has become a necessity.
It appears schools that are located in affluent communities usually have minimal security protection for their students and schools in rougher neigherboods have metal detectors and officers patrolling the area.
Banning and Beaumont schools have school resource officers on campus.
When a man was shot on Wednesday, Nov. 20 in the 400 block of West Wilson Street in Banning, Banning High School, which was the nearest school to the shooting, was not put on lockdown.
A few days later, the suspect from the Nov. 20 shooting was arrested in front of Nicolet Middle School.
Now Nicolet Middle School and Central were put on lockdown as a precaution, but what if the authorities did not get to the suspect before he could have entered school grounds? Are security guards equipped to handle such a situation? Has there been proper training protocols put in place?
School resource officers, which are standard for schools, are law enforcement officers assigned to a school.
Their main goal is to precent juvenile delinquency by promoting positive relations between youth and law enforcement.
They are not necessarily armed and trained for an active-shooter situation. That costs money.
Some districts, like San Bernardino City Unified have their own patrol squad, school resource officers and campus security officers. They work hand-in-hand with the local police department.
Moreover, at each of San Bernardino’s five high school’s there is one police officer and six campus security officers; and at their middle schools they have two campus security officers.
Employing armed guards and retired police officers can be an expensive solution.
While adding more officers to the payroll stretches other programs thin, it could be far less costly than being unprepared for an active shooter situation; it also offers more eyes on everything.
But more importantly, it offers parents and other community members peace of mind.