Asked for 5 discipline policies to put in place in a school district, a relatively strong student wrote this:
I will put cameras.
I will put a metal detector.
I will put a lot of security officers.
I will put police around the school.
I will put a big fence around the school.
His hypthothetical school may or may not be safe. It’s sure not very cheery. My middle school students enter through metal detectors. For years, schools in major urban areas such as Chicago have been putting those metal arches in middle schools and high schools, a fact that has caused brief flurries of discussion, discussion that fades away quickly. In post 9-11 times, we accept changes that would have seemed unthinkable a mere quarter-century ago. Security also waves a wand over my students and their backpacks as they enter.
On Friday, we read an article about school security that led to my 5 discipline policies class opener. We talked about the article. My students told me all the ways they could get a gun into school past the metal detectors. This week I will have to share some of what I learned with the administration: No more letting them get away with, “It’s just my cell phone” when asked why the wand went off over their backpack as they walked into the building.