What is Sanborn Doing To Keep Everyone Safe?

This week we were reminded just how important school safety is. The focus of my blog article today is what we are doing at Sanborn to keep staff and students safe at all times.

This week, our country mourns the loss of ten people in a school shooting at a small community college in Roseburg, Oregon. In that same event, another seven were injured. At a vigil the night of the shooting, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown stated, "In our sorrow, we will remember and honor those lost today, and they will forever be in our hearts. May peace be with you." President Obama released a public statement, indicating that "We've become numb to this. This is something we should politicize, it is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. I hope and pray that I don’t have to come out again during my tenure as president to offer my condolences, but based on my experiences as president I can’t guarantee that," the president added. "And that’s terrible to say. And it can change.”

President Obama’s statement calls attention to the fact that school shootings seem to be on the rise in our country. The Huffington Post reports that this year alone, there have been 45 school shootings.  The organization Everytown for Gun Safety states that “Every day, 88 Americans are killed by gun violence. That’s why Everytown for Gun Safety researches a range of vital issues surrounding gun violence, develops data-driven solutions, and works with lawmakers and people like you to pass common-sense laws and policies that save lives.” The organization has kept records of school shootings since the December 2012 Newtown, CT shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, reporting that America has faced 142 school shootings since that tragic event. In their full report, the organization goes into more detail about these shootings. The Los Angeles Times reported that since the Newtown shooting, there has been nearly one school shooting a week.

Social Media sites like Twitter started trending on school shooting topics, yet most of the posts were from concerned citizens stating that something needed to be done, and urging our country not to become complacent to this real issue. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post’s Amber Ferguson and Sam Stein confirmed the general feeling of the masses that our elected officials keep talking about the issue but are not taking action in their article “Watch Obama Address Homicidal Gun Violence Again, And Again, And Again, And Again, And..”. In contrast to this statement, the Department of Homeland Security published a progress report on the President’s executive actions to reduce gun violence. The President’s plan to reduce gun violence calls for strengthening the existing background check system for gun licenses, empowering law enforcement, encouraging responsible gun ownership, ending he freeze on gun violence research, improving access to mental health care, and making schools safer.

Sanborn Regional High School has taken several steps in the last two years to increase our safety level. My administrative team and I meet regularly with our local police and fire departments to revise our plans. We participate in active shooter trainings that are put on by the Department of Homeland Security with our local police departments. We have used grant funds to purchase upgraded communication equipment to help us communicate more efficiently with emergency responders in the event of an emergency. We are actively looking at the protocols we use throughout our building to monitor our students. We regularly update our staff on safety issues, and provide them training as necessary. Finally, we are in the process of designing some facility upgrades that we believe will make our campus safer and more secure in the future.

What can we do as a community to combat this alarming rise in school shootings? It can start by taking notice. Don’t let these tragic events make you complacent. Support the efforts that are made to train our police and our school officials. Support efforts to increase access to mental health and other related resources for families. This problem is our problem, and together we can work for a better tomorrow.


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