Amira Balala

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Montgomery County Public schools are implementing a new drill for when an active assailant infiltrates the building. The old system of students and teachers turning off the lights and crouching in a corner of a classroom has been replaced with a new Active Shooter Drill. This new drill implements data collected from previous school shootings in order to create a better system,

According to a letter from the Superintendent Jack R. Smith to members of the Board of Education, the protocols for the new drill will be based on the premise of “avoid, deny, defend… training will be coordinated by the Department of School Safety and Security in partnership with MCPD”.

The fact that drill data was collected from previous mass school shootings is an unsettling one. While schools are actively trying to prepare for the worst (which is all too common in the U.S.) members of Congress and the president have come up with a new school safety plan which, according to PBS NewsHour’s report: “Does Trump’s School Safety Plan Make Schools Safer?”, “includes arming teachers, expanding mental health, and improving the National Instant Criminal Background System. The plan does not endorse expanding background checks”.

The report goes further to explain that the president backtracked his statements about raising the minimum age to buy assault weapons. The proposed program is raising criticism due to its failure to properly address the problem of gun violence. In an interview with PBS, Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, describes the efforts as “pathetic”.

In an interview with PBS, Katherine Newman, author of “Rampage”, argues that, given accuracy problems and the potential to draw more shooters to schools, focusing on arming teachers could make schools less safe.

Debates about gun violence are on the rise. Now more than ever, schools are on high alert for gun violence threats.


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