At least one parent called for metal detectors at the Pennsylvania school where a principal was shot to death yesterday, but that might not be the answer. A spokesman for Vicki Phillips, the Pennsylvania secretary of education, said the state would work with the school district to determine what went wrong. But she stressed that school violence has decreased statewide, as it has across the nation. “We could put metal detectors on every street leading up to the school and something could still happen,” said Keith Pierce, press secretary for Phillips, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Eugene Segro, 51, principal of Red Lion Area Middle School, was fatally shot by eighth grader James Sheets, who then killed himself. The motive for the attack was not clear.
Ronald Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center in California, said that “despite the public’s perception, schools continue to be one of the safest places for young people to be, even if it’s difficult for that message to resonate in Red Lion today.” Data from the center show 56 violent deaths in or near schools in the 1992-93 year compared with three across the nation in 2002-03, until yesterday.