Home Forums Hunting Firearms Legislation Discussing and Implementing Ideas for Protecting Our Schools

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  • BrownItsDown
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    From a combination of the ideas that I initially presented, and all of your feedback received, this is what I’ve assembled as a robust, feasible plan of action for protecting our school children from acts of terrorism:

    1. Arm qualified school teachers / staff that choose to carry a firearm.
    (Allowing them to use their own firearms, and possibly providing firearms to others who don’t already have their own. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY FOR ANYONE.)

    Thank you vettman1 for providing the following information on how to do this within current Iowa law.

    https://law.justia.com/codes/iowa/2014/title-xvi/subtitle-1/chapter-724/section-724.4b/

    724.4B Carrying firearms on school grounds – penalty – exceptions.
    1. A person who goes armed with, carries, or transports a firearm of any kind, whether concealed or not, on the grounds of a school commits a class D felony. For the purposes of this section, school means a public or nonpublic school as defined in section 280.2.
    2. Subsection 1 does not apply to the following:
    a. A person listed under section 724.4, subsection 4, paragraphs b through f or j.
    b. A person who has been specifically authorized by the school to go armed with, carry, or transport a firearm on the school grounds, including for purposes of conducting an instructional program regarding firearms.

    2. Provide and require free, or low cost, annual firearm training for all teachers / staff participating in #1.
    (It would be provided optionally and promoted for all others. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY FOR THOSE CHOOSING NOT TO CARRY FIREARMS.)

    3. Provide free or low cost annual self defense training for all teachers / staff.
    (I can make a strong argument for making this mandatory for ALL, but am willing to leave this optional, due to all of the push-back within the previous discussion. THIS IS NOT MANDATORY FOR ANYONE.)

    4. Convert all non-main school building entry points into Emergency Exits ONLY, install electronic/mechanical devices to prohibit unauthorized entry, and set them up to set off alarms upon unauthorized use.
    (Similar to how many office buildings, and stores, are designed today. Suspend / expel those who choose to trigger false alarms.)

    5. Implement security screening areas at all main school building entry points, including, but not limited to metal detectors and armed security guards.
    (Clearly identify what items are prohibited and set size limitations on book bags, etc. I would suggest leveraging National Guardsmen/women as much as possible, where available, at least initially.)

    6. Install simplistic internal door locking / barricading systems that can be engaged manually from within each classroom, and/or even electronically, linked to the alarm system.
    (Suspend / expel those who choose to activate these devices in non-emergency situations.)

    7. Hold random Active Shooter drills periodically, similar to Fire and Tornado drills.
    (The more these are practiced, the better prepared everyone is for a real-live situation.)

    I believe this plan to be thorough, without being completely over-the-top, and could be considered Budget Friendly, when compared to other multi-faceted, extensive protection plans. Plus, as stated prior, it’s all feasible.

    Pursuing predictive modeling and improving how Law Enforcement divisions proactively act on possible threats, along with how Law Enforcement divisions respond to Active Shooter scenarios, are all also points that need improvement, but I see these as residing outside of the actual school’s responsibility. All of these things will take cooperation from the schools and communities for accurately reporting threatening behavior when it is observed.

    I appreciate the idea of installing bullet proof doors and glass, etc. but unless the walls are also bullet proof, I don’t see much benefit. Plus, the expense associated with bullet proofing anything, is extensive.

    Thanks again everyone. BID

    BrownItsDown
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    Follow-Up:

    I spent some time contacting our Iowa State Senators and Representatives yesterday. I provided them with the list of ‘ideas’ that I assembled from this conversation. Many responded, thanking me for the information, and some actually provided quality feedback as for how to go about getting these ideas implemented.

    Below is an example: (Some of the comments in this discussion were echoed in this response.)

    I agree on all points.

    The legislature is openly discussing the fact that Iowa Code already allows school boards to bring in weapons. That is going to make a lot of school boards real squishy real quick. The responsibility is on them.

    That being said, Senate Republicans brainstormed this and came to these general conclusions:

    – We need to stay out of the way of school boards. No mandates on training, numbers, etc. This belongs to the school boards, and we should help, not regulate.

    – We should consider ways to protect schools and personnel from civil liability. This can be done a few ways. No decisions yet.

    – Additional flexibility for physical security improvements funding can be considered, but the current SAVE penny should cover most needs.

    The other issues you offer are also local decisions. The state could offer tax credits for training, maybe a categorical funding stream, but this needs input from the schools, according to their needs. I think the best impact you can have is to work your local school districts and try to make them models of security and efficiency in spending on physical and personnel improvements.

    I’ll take this advice and start focusing my attention at my local school district level. I pray many of you do as well.

    Together, we can make some substantial change in protecting our schools and the people within them. Divided, we will accomplish nothing.

    scherrman
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    Is anyone else more concerned with the thought of there being more guns in schools? Shortly after the Parkland shooting there was a school in the Atlanta area that had a teacher that locked himself in a room with a gun. There were reportedly shots fired.

    I do agree that some armed personnel on school campus could stop an outsider from coming in and shooting up a school but how many incidents will we have within the school from those allowed to carry now? Sounds like putting a band aid on one problem while creating a whole new problem.

    BrownItsDown
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    Quote by: scherrman

    Is anyone else more concerned with the thought of there being more guns in schools? Shortly after the Parkland shooting there was a school in the Atlanta area that had a teacher that locked himself in a room with a gun. There were reportedly shots fired.

    I do agree that some armed personnel on school campus could stop an outsider from coming in and shooting up a school but how many incidents will we have within the school from those allowed to carry now? Sounds like putting a band aid on one problem while creating a whole new problem.

    A teacher can just as easily lock him/herself in a room and slit their wrists with a piece of glass, ingest industrial cleaner, or jump out of a high story window, etc.

    This does not concern me. The same argument was made prior to January 1, 2011, when Iowa became a “shall issue” state for a permit to carry weapons on one’s person. This is a good article detailing how realistic that argument was following Iowa becoming a “shall issue” state: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/five-years-after-passage-of-the-shall-issue-gun-law-views-remain-mixed-20160103

    I don’t consider providing terrorism protection for children any type of ‘band-aid’, but I know you’re not alone in your feelings. It’s much better than unrealistically banning guns or changing our culture in general, and it can be accomplished in a reasonable time-frame as well.

    scherrman
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    Quote by: BrownItsDown

    Quote by: scherrman

    Is anyone else more concerned with the thought of there being more guns in schools? Shortly after the Parkland shooting there was a school in the Atlanta area that had a teacher that locked himself in a room with a gun. There were reportedly shots fired.

    I do agree that some armed personnel on school campus could stop an outsider from coming in and shooting up a school but how many incidents will we have within the school from those allowed to carry now? Sounds like putting a band aid on one problem while creating a whole new problem.

    A teacher can just as easily lock him/herself in a room and slit their wrists with a piece of glass, ingest industrial cleaner, or jump out of a high story window, etc.

    This does not concern me. The same argument was made prior to January 1, 2011, when Iowa became a “shall issue” state for a permit to carry weapons on one’s person. This is a good article detailing how realistic that argument was following Iowa becoming a “shall issue” state: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/public-safety/five-years-after-passage-of-the-shall-issue-gun-law-views-remain-mixed-20160103

    I don’t consider providing terrorism protection for children any type of ‘band-aid’, but I know you’re not alone in your feelings. It’s much better than unrealistically banning guns or changing our culture in general, and it can be accomplished in a reasonable time-frame as well.

    A teacher harming themselves with the objects you mentioned does not compare well to having a gun in my opinion. I’m glad that everyone is serious about making changes to lessen school shootings but lets be careful not to create another problem.

    river
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    I’m impressed. By the OP and each and every respondent. You all should be proud of yourselves being a part of this community, as it were. Passionate discussion from multiple points of view shines a powerful and good light on a difficult and horrible reality. Needless deaths. There is no one way to solve this overnight but, the give and take of reasonable thoughts and action provides a place to start at least. It is a big deal no matter your personal perspective. Learn from one another and work your asses off to do what it takes to protect our children. Don’t let it end. Keep the dialog alive.

    I know that I have been merely the equivalent of a cheerleader in this discussion but I’m learning and I believe you all are to. What I offer to you is be kind, live, and love. That may sound wishy-washy… But I mean it.

    River

    kenhump
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    Quote by: river

    I’m impressed. By the OP and each and every respondent. You all should be proud of yourselves being a part of this community, as it were. Passionate discussion from multiple points of view shines a powerful and good light on a difficult and horrible reality. Needless deaths. There is no one way to solve this overnight but, the give and take of reasonable thoughts and action provides a place to start at least. It is a big deal no matter your personal perspective. Learn from one another and work your asses off to do what it takes to protect our children. Don’t let it end. Keep the dialog alive.

    I know that I have been merely the equivalent of a cheerleader in this discussion but I’m learning and I believe you all are to. What I offer to you is be kind, live, and love. That may sound wishy-washy… But I mean it.

    River

    Excellent. I am frustrated in all the folks are immediately jumping forward with the end all answer to a very complex issue. There is no panacea, no quick fix. We need honest discussion and not polarization. There will not be a one size fits all answer.

    IowaSportsmanGuy
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    Kent T
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    Quote by: scherrman

    Is anyone else more concerned with the thought of there being more guns in schools? Shortly after the Parkland shooting there was a school in the Atlanta area that had a teacher that locked himself in a room with a gun. There were reportedly shots fired.

    I do agree that some armed personnel on school campus could stop an outsider from coming in and shooting up a school but how many incidents will we have within the school from those allowed to carry now? Sounds like putting a band aid on one problem while creating a whole new problem.

    Excellent observation.

    wapsigoose
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    We have all been discussing the pros and cons of this issue , so to add to the mix, here is my 2 cents. I work at R.I.A. Arsenal, R.I. IL. To Enter the base you need either a government CAT card I.D. or a valid state driver’s license plus a preauthorized contractor badge. Now before I get the kids don’t drive barage, hear me out. no valid I.D., no enter, no exceptions. They also have electronic door entering systems that are activated via your badge on different levels of securety. Some are locked down 100 % of the time some are locked down on off work times. the base entering system works to the extent that an honest person with no bad history can access the island. The downfall is not all people that do terrible things have bad histories and vehicles are not checked 100% of the time, ( weapons). I will say it is a deterent and turns away many. As for the entering electronically, it also has some downfalls. They are a pain to maintain, piggybacking will happen, one badge scan when multiple people are at the door, and people forgeting to take their badge with them when they leave a secure area. I do like the idea of audible alarms that go off when nonaccess doors open and cameras at all doorways that alarms sound. These alarms should only be able to be silenced when phyically checked out by school officials.As for guns on school grounds, that should be left to vote on by individual school districts and the parents that have kids enroled. I do not have kids myself, but personally would vote for raising taxes to help fund what ever my local school district decidesi

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