Doing Something After Newtown

In the aftermath of the horrific event in Newtown, CT, school leaders are facing a wide variety of difficult issues including reassuring children and their parents that the classroom is still a safe place, dealing with mentally troubled members of the community, and reducing the chances that a similar incident will occur in the future. In light of this tragedy, many communities will look for quick answers, and their leaders will feel pressure to do something. The National Rifle Association has already proposed spending two billion dollars per year for hiring armed guards in all schools, but others will surely propose other somethings such as increased use of metal detectors, installation of more security cameras and secure locks on classrooms, and intensifying other security procedures. Many of these proposed solutions are costly and may not substantially reduce the probability of another event occurring because such events are rare to begin with. Further, a substantial investment in school security will have to be paid for out of other programs, some of which are aimed at improving the quality of education, such as professional development for teachers.

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