Archived Story

A shield is not a strategy

Published 9:52am Wednesday, May 1, 2013 Updated 11:53am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It might be useful to go back to the drawing board — whether it be white or not — and reconsider. A bulletproof whiteboard isn’t really good preparation for the next attack on a school.

The desperation of the Rocori school district to avoid future loss of life in their schools is completely understandable. In 2003 a 15-year-old boy fatally shot two students in the Cold Spring school before a teacher convinced him to put down the gun.

The central Minnesota community never saw it coming, just like the Newtown, Mass., school didn’t anticipate their shootings — and every other school before that has suffered such a tragedy.

But turning whiteboards into bulletproof shields isn’t the tactic that is going to protect students and staff. School security experts say that arming school personnel and introducing protective equipment — from bulletproof whiteboards to Kevlar-lined backpacks — are extreme tactics that give a false sense of security. What’s next — 6-inch-thick lunch trays?

Preventive steps such as monitored school entrances and learning to retreat from danger are more realistic ways for school staff and students to cope with threats. Charging at an intruder with a slab of whiteboard as a shield or hiding behind it isn’t the best approach, security experts say.

The positive thing about Rocori district’s school security is that the whiteboard shields are just a small part of its overall plan. Their larger plan includes lockdown drills, school resource officers and a single point of entry. Those measures all make sense.


— The Free Press of Mankato

  • Richard Olson

    Instead of those half measurers, maybe we could arm each little kid with one of those child sized .22 caliber rifles from “Keystone Sporting Arms co.” called the “Crickett” and advertised as “my first gun”. (it comes in neon colors, even bright Pink for little girls)

    We know they work, because one little boy 5 years old shot and killed his little sister with one last week in Kentucky.
    Like the NRA says, “the more guns there are, the safer we are”. Imagine how safe our children would be if a grade school of….say 500 children each had a .22 caliber Cricket. The only thing we would have to worry about in that school is that the kids got too much sugar from the Coke machine.

    Just remember, the second amendment does not have a minimum age requirement and taking the guns from 5 year olds is the first step on that slippery slope to taking my assault rifle and grenades.

    • mike weller

      Good idea!!….”sarcasm”.

      • Richard Olson

        Sarcasm? Hardly, I’ve said absolutely nothing that couldn’t or hasn’t issued from the mouth of Wayne La Pierre or any other gun enabler. The only thing LaPierre would have added is that if the two year old had her own gun this would never have happened.

        • mike weller

          I was stating the fact that my comment was sarcasm.

  • Walt Henry

    A five year old, playing with a rifle he was given last year (when he was 4) shot and killed his 2 year old sister. What kind of a parent lets a 5 year old play with a real gun? What kind of a crazy person gives a 4 year old a real gun for a present?

    • Jake Krohn

      Good questions. But if those individuals are out there, chances are they will find their way to this comment section and let you know.

      • J Mullins

        I grew up on a farm. Got my first BB gun at 10, to learn gun safety before being allowed to fire a .22 at twelve, then being trained with an UNLOADED shotgun for three trips out to the slough at the end of our land for duck hunting, before being allowed to load the gun and bring home my first ducks for family dinner.

        Five is way too young for any gun, under most circumstances, though even in this country there have been reported incidents of young children picking up a gun and shooting someone who was attacking mom or gramma in their own homes. And, tragically, too many incidents of children shooting people with guns carelessly left unguarded or unsecured by parents. The right to own firearms should be tempered by training in the SAFE and PROPER use of guns.

        Such as shooting members of tyrants’ thugs coming to sieze lawfully owned firearms and drug crazed or psychotics killers let loose by liberal judges to commit mayhem.

        • Richard Olson

          Jerome, the ease with which you went from reasonable to lunacy between the second and third paragraphs are indications that a background check is necessary. (shoot all the drug crazed or psychotics killers
          you wish) I make reference to the fact that no one has any intention to seize your lawfully owned firearms.

          • J Mullins

            Oh, thank heaven! Now that you have guaranteed me that none of your lefty pals will try to sieze our lawfully own firearms from us I can relax, sleep the innocent sleep of babes, knowing that you will proyect us from Barack 0bama, who just today said he wasn’t done in his efforts to take our guns away, even if his leftist controlled Senate had voted down his efforts. Said he would keep on introducing the bill until he won. I guess he didn’t read your promise here. Can we count on you to call him and tell him the game is over because you assured us that our firearms won’t be taken away?

      • Walt Henry

        You’re right. One did. How many more will follow? haha

Editor's Picks

$53.8M referendum set for Perham school: Proposal would cover new high school, facility improvements

Voters in the Perham-Dent school district have a month-and-a-half to decide if they want to approve a $53.8 million project which would fund a new ... Read more

2 from FF involved in 3-car accident

Four people, including two from Fergus Falls, were involved in a three-car crash Monday. A Fort Ripley woman driving a red Dodge Stratus reportedly ran ... Read more

Capitol building restoration to run $30 million higher

The extensive renovation of the Minnesota Capitol is $30 million over budget, state officials revealed Friday. That number surprised members of the Capitol Preservation Board, ... Read more

Otter back after brain injury: Baseball player told return was unlikely

Most seniors stepping up to home plate at the start of their final season will have done so many times before. Not the Otters’ Steven ... Read more