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School safety more than ‘statistical framework’

To the editor:

It seems as though some plans for school safety in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Newtown are transforming schools into armed forts.

There is no doubt that with the most careful planning schools could be 100 percent safe. We would need more than fences and guards. Bulletproof glass and bans on outdoor activities, such as recess, sports and nature walks, could take safety to the highest level imaginable. We would then have more than a metaphor for prison.

Safety is more than a statistical framework. Safety is a state of mind. Kids feel safe being able to move around their campus without fences and guns. Schools are already safer than the homes kids come from if statistics are the only game.

As adults, we have to be careful about fixing things that end up cultivating more fear than they erase. Bans on assault weapons and the corresponding ammo are a better way to enhance safety than making schools a place where young minds are forced to think of danger.

Bob Susskind


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