A month after a gunman massacred 20 students in Newtown, Ct., schools nationwide are struggling with safety issues and taking widely divergent approaches, says the Wall Street Journal. In a rural Ohio district, officials plan to arm four school staffers with concealed weapons. In a Florida beach town, teachers suggested a provision in their contract that bars them from carrying guns on campus. The cash-strapped resort community of Coeur d’Alene, Id., will ask voters to approve a property-tax increase for security upgrades including fences at its 17 schools. Schools are running security drills, planning to install security cameras and bullet-proof glass, and hiring safety consultants. Teachers in some areas are applying for gun-carry permits and swamping firearms courses.
“Every community is wrestling with its own personal and professional philosophies about what to do, and how to keep kids safe,” said Carol Kurdell, a Hillsborough County, Fl., Public Schools board member who voted this week against spending $700,000 this year and nearly $4 million in future years to add 130 police officers at Tampa elementary schools. She said she was worried about the cost and wanted more study before making a decision. Experts say there is a limit to what schools can do to stop a determined killer. President Obama would spend $150 million for schools to add 1,000 security officers trained to work on campuses, as well as social workers and psychologists. The plan seeks $50 million to train staff to create “more nurturing school climates.”