"How secure are your kids at school? Not very

If your neighborhood public school were a bank, you'd keep your money in a mattress. A state-funded study of school safety released last week has found glaring security gaps:

• 58 percent of principals believe they lack the knowledge to properly respond to emergencies.

• 86 percent of schools have public address systems, but only 55 percent actually work.

• 70 percent of school districts lack ways to account for keys or access cards.

• 90 percent of classroom doors can't be locked from the inside.

• 46 percent of schools have no security officers.

• 75 percent of principals say trespassing and intrusion occurs at their schools, mostly after-hours.

Makes you wonder where all your tax dollars have been going all these years.

The study examined how well Idaho schools protect students from violence and other threats. It looked at security systems, such as cameras and panic alarms, to identify weaknesses and recommend remedies.

The Idaho Department of Education will ask lawmakers for $150,000 in the next year to create school security standards, adopt recommendations for new school construction and help schools begin complying with federal homeland security requirements. Those changes could make schools eligible for federal grants.

The state also offers schools help for troubling student behavior.

All well and good, but the solution starts with the folks who run local schools. They, after all, are the ones who know if the PA system is broken and whether classroom doors can lock.

And with school superintendents, who aren't doing their jobs if they can't track keys and access cards.

We're fortunate there's never been a Columbine-style tragedy in Idaho, but there's clearly nothing in the public school security infrastructure to prevent it. That must change, and soon."


Why am I not surprized at the findings of this survey. I think this problem is far more wide spread than just to Idaho alone.