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Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

One of the local reactions

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One of the local reactions here was to increase the security at the schools, which now requires a "buzz in" at every door. This has had the effect of making it much more difficult to have meetings in the evening at the school without making one person act as sentry at the door to ensure anyone who comes late can still get it; and I think it is actually reducing some volunteers.

With any discussion of security and school violence, we have to have a careful balance between safety and alienation. Do we want less people involved in our schools in the name of safety? Or do we want a tighter more involved community where we might be able to head off the feeling of alienation and otherness that leads to school violence?

I really want my kids to believe school is a safe place of joy and learning. I worry when it begins to look more like TSA security, we're sending messages about distrust, not "We're here to keep you safe", and it starts to feel like school is more institutional like a prison, and less about children learning and growing.

It is an extremely tough and emotional issue for everyone. But I do believe strongly that we have to make sure we have an involved, close community if we really want to head off school violence, and less of one that treats everyone within it as a potential threat.

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