Texas has some safety requirements for public schools — but leaves most of the particulars up to education officials
Read the headline. Now read it again. Once more. Now, who is responsible for the safety of students and staff in a school? It is not the cops. It is not the parents. It isn’t the students. I know, I know! It is school administrators. You know the clowns that suspend students for munching on pop tarts to shape a gun. The same folks that insist that parents have no say in what schools teach or who uses what restroom based on sex. These folks are in charge of security or the lack.
I once put together a course for officers in the gang unit. It dealt with the interaction of police/students within the context of school policy. A friend gave me a “model curriculum” dealing with the topic. It was developed by the Texas Education Agency. He wanted me to test drive it and make any suggestions for improvement. This was supposed to be how-to for cops to conduct investigations on public school campuses.
It was sadly lacking. The developers never consulted the Texas Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Family Code or the United States Constitution. These are the rules that govern police actions. Not covered in this model curriculum were topics such as probable cause, warrantless search and seizure, authority to arrest, use of force or the court system. Actions or inactions of the police were at the whim of the school principal. I later found out that in one district school police officers were not allowed on one high school campus unless specifically called. Once called they were to handle the problem and then leave the campus as soon as they were done. Who came up with that? The school principal.
Everybody knows if you have a swimming pool in your back yard it has to be fenced. If an unauthorized person is injured in the pool the homeowner is liable. The concept is called maintaining an attractive nuisance. It seems to me concentrating a large number of unarmed people in an unlocked building and posting signs that the premises are a “Gun Free Zone” falls into the same category. No matter how unbalanced a potential shooter is, they are rational enough to avoid places where people are able to fight back. If a wacko can figure that out, why not a school principal?
How many mass shootings have taken place at gun shows and gun stores? Take it a step further, most gun shows, and gun stores require that firearms be unloaded prior to entry. Not exactly a gun free zone. But it isn’t about the sign. Walk into a gun show or a gun shop and one can be certain that the folks within are willing and able to take aggressive action to defend themselves and others.
Power Line observes that school mass shootings are relatively rare: What To Do About School Shootings? | Power Line (powerlineblog.com) Rare as they may be, that is no excuse not to prepare. Lighting strikes are also relatively rare, yet schools are equipped with lighting rods to hedge against just such an eventuality.