Friday, October 12, 2007

School Security: But Who is Watching?

As the latest wave of school shootings sends anxiety through parents, teachers, and school administrators, it is sobering to realize how securitized our schools already are, and how little good it apparently does. At SuccessTech, described as an "alternative" public high school in Cleveland, a 14 year old who had been suspended, entered school with a number of weapons and shot four persons (all of whom have survived their wounds) before killing himself. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee by Joe Milicia (AP), the school had 26 Closed Circuit TV cameras, metal detectors, and a guard posted at the door. Despite that, 14 year old Asa Coons was able to enter the school and go on a shooting rampage without interference. The point isn't to get more frightened about school violence (its still by far the safest place for students and teachers to be, comparing favorably to say, their homes). The point is that more security technology does not mean more security.

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