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Newton, CT - School Could Not Have Prevented Shooting, Experts Say

Published on: December 15, 2012 10:47 PM
By: Reuters
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A young boy is comforted outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012. ReutersA young boy is comforted outside Sandy Hook Elementary School after a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, December 14, 2012. Reuters

Newton, CT - U.S. school districts have spent millions of dollars on metal detectors, security cameras and elaborate emergency-response plans since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, but almost nothing could have prevented Friday’s massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, security experts say.

A 20-year-old, heavily armed gunman opened fire Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adults before taking his own life, police said.

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“The school could not have stopped it without prior knowledge that he was coming,” said Bill Bond, a school safety specialist and former high school principal who had a deadly student shooting on his watch.

Unlike the shooting at Columbine in Colorado, where two students killed other 12 students and a teacher, the gunman in Newtown was not a student, but an adult from the community.

“This is going to go down as a school shooting, but it’s exactly what happened in Aurora,” said Bond, referring to the mass shooting by a lone gunman at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado last July that left 12 dead and 58 wounded.

“That was a movie theater, this was a school,” he added.

Bond was the principal of Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, where on December 1, 1997, a student opened fire on a morning prayer circle, killing three.

He retired in 2000 and now works with other principals and students as a school safety specialist with the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

“We equate school shootings with students killing other students,” Bond said.

It is still unclear what kind of security measures the school routinely took, but media reported that access was limited to visitors and doors were locked after 9:30 a.m. The shooting is believed to have happened soon after that time.

‘SUBSTANTIAL’ CHANGE AFTER COLUMBINE

Still, Bond said, there is no way for students and teachers to protect themselves when someone begins shooting with a weapon. He said even a security guard and locked doors could not have stopped the killer.

Without knowing the school’s security system, Kenneth Trump, president of consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services, stresses that schools need to be “looking for these lone wolf actors.”

“As a father, I would love to have a 100 percent guarantee that nothing bad will ever happen in my kids’ school, but as a rational school safety professional I know nobody can give me a 100 percent guarantee on safety,” said Trump.

But he has seen the danger drop at schools in the wake of Columbine. Dozens of shootings have been thwarted by students, teachers and principals sharing information and warning about students with weapons or plans to kill.

“There was a substantial amount of progress in the months and years after Columbine in prevention, security and emergency preparedness in our schools,” said Trump. “A lot of those measures have become part of the school culture.”

But he worries about maintaining that culture in the future because of budget constraints. As the risk of violence has increased because of the stress inflicted by the struggling economy, the time and funding allocated to these prevention and safety programs have declined.

“There has been an increased competition for time and money, and school safety has been losing on both accounts,” said Trump.

 

 


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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 16, 2012 at 12:18 AM Renegade Says:

"there is no way for students and teachers to protect themselves when someone begins shooting with a weapon."

Really? you stop the guy by shooting him.

notice what all these massacres have in common? they all occur in "gun-free zones."
If we stop making laws which ensure that only criminals and mass-murderers will have guns it'll be a lot easier to prevent such massacres.

2

 Dec 16, 2012 at 05:13 AM MBYIsrael Says:

That's got to be one of the most idiotic statements I ever heard. How did a guy with an assault rifle even get in the door? People with guns are let into Israeli buildings all the time. The difference is that the security guards PROFILE everyone. I'm an older, obviously Jewish woman. Most times they don't look in my bag but sometimes they do. I figure there's a alert on when they do or maybe if I'm about to deal with a bureaucrat, I have a more determined look in my eye so they don't take chances. No one gets into National Insurance with a water bottle until they've taken a drink of in front of the guard.

3

 Dec 16, 2012 at 05:17 AM MBYIsrael Says:

Also, there's a misunderstanding that Israeli teachers are all armed. They aren't as a policy, but any teacher who has a permit anyway, may keep their weapon on themselves during school hours. Inside the "green line" one of the qualifications for having a permit is that you serve in the IDF for 3 years. There are other strict rules but that one eliminates most olim. In Yesha however, that rule is waived and as long as someone gets the proper training and passes the psych evaluation, they can carry.

4

 Dec 16, 2012 at 09:46 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #1  
Renegade Says:

"there is no way for students and teachers to protect themselves when someone begins shooting with a weapon."

Really? you stop the guy by shooting him.

notice what all these massacres have in common? they all occur in "gun-free zones."
If we stop making laws which ensure that only criminals and mass-murderers will have guns it'll be a lot easier to prevent such massacres.

Really? He got the weapons from his gun-obsessed mother's legal arsenal.

5

 Dec 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Phineas Says:

Really? He got the weapons from his gun-obsessed mother's legal arsenal.

His mother was not the shooter moron, he was.
He got the guns illegally

7

 Dec 16, 2012 at 01:31 PM esther Says:

5 and 6,have you never made a mistake in your entire lives?

8

 Dec 16, 2012 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

His mother the "gun nut" never ever went around killing kids. It was her libtard son.

9

 Dec 16, 2012 at 03:25 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

His mother was not the shooter moron, he was.
He got the guns illegally

Moron, if someone is allowed to stockpile weapons, they present a danger to everyone, especially when she legally takes her troubled son to shooting ranges to make him a marksman. Since I possess no guns, my son can't use it.

10

 Dec 16, 2012 at 03:38 PM Renegade Says:

Reply to #4  
Phineas Says:

Really? He got the weapons from his gun-obsessed mother's legal arsenal.

So what's your point? Are you trying to say that he couldn't have been stopped if he wasn't the only one there with a gun because he stole the weapons from "his gun-obsessed mother's legal arsenal?"

11

 Dec 16, 2012 at 05:06 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #10  
Renegade Says:

So what's your point? Are you trying to say that he couldn't have been stopped if he wasn't the only one there with a gun because he stole the weapons from "his gun-obsessed mother's legal arsenal?"

I'm saying his mother should not have been allowed to stockpile military grade firearms. Fifty years ago, a person may have had a shotgun or a six shot revolver that took a minute to reload every few shocks. Now any idiot can get a military grade firearm and several clips so he can blow away twenty people in the time it takes the police to first get a phone call. If the Second Amendment was about the way guns used to be, there could be an intelligent debate but what is the point of debating people who believe in the right to carry Sig Sauers and carbines whose ammo can pierce kevlar.

12

 Dec 20, 2012 at 04:00 PM Kzler Says:

Reply to #2  
MBYIsrael Says:

That's got to be one of the most idiotic statements I ever heard. How did a guy with an assault rifle even get in the door? People with guns are let into Israeli buildings all the time. The difference is that the security guards PROFILE everyone. I'm an older, obviously Jewish woman. Most times they don't look in my bag but sometimes they do. I figure there's a alert on when they do or maybe if I'm about to deal with a bureaucrat, I have a more determined look in my eye so they don't take chances. No one gets into National Insurance with a water bottle until they've taken a drink of in front of the guard.

The doors were locked and he shot his way in. Don't forget we need an adequate militia and the 2nd amend is holy to every nut and antisemite

13

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