I watched the President and Secretary of Education as parents and children of gun violence pled for saner laws and limits on access to firearms. Where are those laws? The current situation would be utterly absurd — if it were not heartbreaking. I went into an elementary school where I sometimes substitute last week and was asked to put my car keys in a box until I returned my substitute I.D. at day’s end. I am familiar with this procedure from other schools; subs do sometimes walk off with those I.D.s which may have room keys and even keys that open the school. It’s easy to forget about the “necklace” that is a school’s lanyard.
But this request was new. Shortly before the Florida shooting, a small elementary school in a quiet community had added a fancy lock to the interior office door of the school. I could only get in or out of the school office via the already-secured front door or by scanning a key in the back of the offices. I learned how to use my new key.
Eduhonesty: My problem is not security. My problem is I think I may have bypassed that security the last four out of five times I went into a school. I sometimes wince now as people let me past that security, and I may start gently reminding the helpful that today’s security exists for a reason. So many people obligingly hold open doors for me, no doubt because I look like a teacher with my Yoda bag bulging with papers. Sometimes I carry an owl or Avengers bag. I reek late middle-aged teacher and I always have sensible, flat shoes and glasses. But who knows what’s in my many stuffed bags?
Profiling works for me. People let me into schools all the time, not always through the front door. Students let me in. Teachers and other adults let me in. Especially on freezing winter days, people take compassion on me as I trek through parking lots and around schools. Not all of these helpful folks have seen me before.
Readers, the next time you see that woman with her Yoda bag? Please, make her follow procedures. The stakes have become too high to take chances, even the tiniest of chances.
My next post will be about arming teachers.