Our View: It’s been said on hpe.com

Feb. 27, 2013 @ 01:12 AM

Guilford County Schools has appointed a task force to study school security issues in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., deaths. The Enterprise is soliciting reader comments on this matter at hpe.com under Opinion/Polls. On Jan. 25, HPE columnist Paula Williams, who is a longtime teacher in Guilford County Schools, wrote about school security. Here is part of that column and some responses to it. The entire column can be found on hpe.com under Opinion/Commentary.

• Paula Williams: One innovative idea to enhance school safety is being utilized in many Randolph County schools. It is a program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students).  This program, dubbed “Heroes of the Hallways,” was actually inspired by a school shooting in Jonesboro, Ark., in 1998.  This father involvement initiative of the National Center for Fathering organizes fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father figures to provide positive role models in schools and enhance school security. ...
Fathers and father figures volunteer to spend at least one day per school year at their child’s school.  They wear Watch D.O.G.S. shirts, use walkie-talkies to communicate with each other and the front office, and they walk the halls and grounds of the school with watchful eyes, often stopping to interact positively with students and staff.  ... This program does not pretend to be a deterrent to monstrous acts of school violence that defy comprehension like Sandy Hook.  Only God knows if Watch D.O.G.S. there would have made any difference at all. ...
This program “thinks outside the box,” so to speak, about not only school safety but also about inserting more positive male role models into elementary schools that typically have few males on staff.  It is time that all our schools and school systems begin to think of innovative ideas like this.
In response:
• ChuckBino: You are very correct in suggesting that “This program does not pretend to be a deterrent to monstrous acts of school violence that defy comprehension.” But all this frantic gun control talk and Feinstein bill is about hopeful, but make-believe, deterrents. Your T-shirt wearing males would merely be a possible temporary intimidation to a determined nut case like Lanza. It is very likely that those positive male role models would have been as dead as the brave teacher in Newtown who waved her arms at the gunman. We need live heroes and students.
• JJ: Even though your point sounds good, I could imagine putting myself, as a grandfather, patrolling the halls with my T-shirt. If I see two teens fighting and me trying to break it up and one of the students claim that I hurt one of them, then I would be subject to lawsuit. Like nut cases, like Chuck stated, there is no stopping them and an old man would not be a deterrent. Why aren’t the school doors locked and if anyone wants in they have to be buzzed in with ID before letting them enter?