Securities being used to prevent school shootings might not be effective

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

Prevention practices against mass murders in schools continue to be implemented nationwide.

However, parents of victims in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland are making their voices heard in our nation’s capital because all the improvements made to school security may not protect children.

One expert says prevention tactics like active shooter drills may actually desensitize students to the real thing.

We delved into the eye-opening research as kids get set to begin a new school year.

Tom and Gena Hoyer lost their 15-year-old son, Luke, to the Parkland school shooting last year. The Hoyers and lawmakers discussed the best way to secure schools Thursday in Washington D.C.

“Kids and teachers have been dying,” Tom said. “School starts in less than two months.”

Dr. Deborah Temkins, a leading research scientist, warned some security practices may hurt kids.

“Emerging evidence suggests that more intensive security in schools may lead to unintended consequences,” Temkins said. “Increased fear, decreased perceptions of school safety, increased referrals to the criminal justice system for minor offenses and particularly for low-income students — reduced academic achievement.”

Temkins said research shows active shooter drills can traumatize or desensitize students to a shooting’s seriousness. But it’s not as well looked into when it comes to single point of entry, school resource officers and metal detectors.

“The research we have is mixed at best,” Temkins said.

And Temkins calls basic lockdown drills helpful, not harmful.

School districts in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties told us they are in compliance with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which lawmakers enacted after the February 2018 shooting to increase security.

School districts in Hendry and DeSoto counties said they are close to compliance.

School violence overall has decreased since 1999, but that’s little comfort to the Hoyer family.

“My son was one of the first to die,” Tom said. “Police tell me he felt the impact of the bullets before he felt the shots.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.