Newberry Observer

Protecting students, teachers and administrators in school.

I spoke to two students one from Mid-Carolina High School and one from Newberry High school. I asked them “What would be the best response if a person walks into a school and proceeds down a hallway, pulls a gun out and randomly starts to shoot at people. An alarm of an active shooter in the school goes off. Teachers/administrators instruct the students to get into a class room and lock the doors. The brave teachers tell the students to stay calm, move against the walls and pull a desk around to protect them. The teacher still hears the shots coming toward the room. She slides away from the door. The teacher hears no more shooting. The door knob does not turn as the shooter attempts to come in. She is holding her breath hoping the sheriff deputies and city police get there quickly. It is quiet except you can here a bit of sobbing coming from some of the students behind the desk. Suddenly the shooter blasts the door lock and it falls away and the shooter walks into the room. There the teacher stands, WHAT DOES THE TEACHER DO to protect herself/himself and the students?”

Alan’s school recently had a discussion in class about what should be done. About half of the students agreed that there should be a concealed carry permitted for teacher/administrator to have access to a protective firearm. One third of them had no opinion. A couple in the class said to have a metal detector, and a couple said having a resource officer would be helpful. One said to ban all guns. Alan feels some teachers and administrators should have access to protect students and teachers.

Virginia who attends the other school, felt she would feel uncomfortable at first with teachers carrying a gun, but would feel much more secure if some of the teachers and administrators had access to a gun. She continued saying having concealed lock boxes available to concealed carry permitted and active shooter trained teachers and administrators would be an option.

We have a good sheriff, deputies and city police, but the response time for deputies or city police to at least get on the grounds after the first call depending on the location is four to eleven minutes or more. Once they arrive maybe up to fifteen minutes to apprehend the person.

Banning guns, knives, cars, trucks, pencils and toothpicks just will not fix the problem. If a person wants to do this kind of harm they will use whatever and will not go to the trouble to obtain items used for harm legally.

Forty years ago Israel allowed teachers to carry weapons after a school shooting. All teachers were armed and there have only been two shootings in Israel since and only the perpetrators were hurt or killed. I believe many of our folks are at least equal to in competence to the Israelis.

Teachers are permitted to bring guns onto K-12 campus WITH PERMISSION on a case by case basis as of 2013 in N.Y., Conn., N.J., Mass., N.H., Ala., Miss., Ky., TX., Wyo., ID., Mont. and UT. As long as they have a concealed carry permit.

I believe that the deputies, police, teachers, administrators and interested adults should go through training together, to protect our students,teachers and administrators.

South Carolina has bills pending H3052 & S0085 Jacob Hill School Protection Act which addresses some of concerns.

I would suggest the following:

MAKE A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.

• Locally, not every teacher or administrator wants to or are capable, but the ones that want to go through paid training including active shooting training with law enforcement should be allowed.

• Have our sheriff appoint school teachers/administrators as school marshals, S.C. schools or state paying them for the additional training. Name these teachers/administrators as marshals like airplane marshals without students knowing who they are.

• Get a concealed carry permit which includes a background check, sitting in a class to learn the laws and regulations, passing a test, and successfully firing several dozens bullets.

• Go through Advanced Training which is more safety training, firing at different positions with different scenarios.

• Have two times a year active shooting drills with law enforcement in each school.

• South Carolina should allow a S.C. tax credit for initial and yearly training.

Marches for gun control do not change the frame of mind of perpetrators and do not solve the problem. Community, education and commitment from families, schools and law enforcement would. Large metal detectors are a waste of money except for hand held ones for the school marshals. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and do nothing as a county and state.

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Louis Neiger

Till Next Time

Louis W. Neiger, CLU, is retired from insurance and security planning, he lives in Newberry. He can be reached at lwneiger@juno.com.