Colorado School Districts Don’t Care About Child Safety

Written by Michael Cummings on May 2, 2019

So, this happened last week.

Hundreds of schools across the Denver area were closed on Wednesday as law enforcement officials engaged in a massive search for a Florida [redacted] who they said had made threats ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting and was considered armed and “extremely dangerous.”

The decision to keep about half a million students home in two dozen school districts over a vast swath of Colorado showed the sense of alarm among the authorities. An F.B.I. bulletin sent to local law enforcement agencies on Tuesday identified the [redacted] as [redacted]. [redacted] was “infatuated” with the Columbine attack, the bulletin said, and had been “attempting to buy firearms.”

Officials also released an image of [redacted], and said [redacted] was approximately 5-foot-5, with brown hair. [redacted] had recently traveled to Colorado, they said.

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[redacted] parents reported her missing to local police on Monday, Detective Sergeant Marian Cruz, a spokeswoman for the Surfside Police Department, said on Wednesday. That has been the only time police have been called to the family’s address, she added.

My daughters’ district, which articulates to Columbine, has over 83,000 students. Everyone involved from the FBI to the governor to the school board of every district are complicit in this Charlie Foxtrot. The answer to your question is we did not need to close schools over this one person.

Many made the argument, “What did you expect? They [authorities] had to do this. This person was a nutjob. What else could they have done?”

So glad you asked.

It’s a moderately well-kept secret that the state of Colorado passed Senate Bill 03-024 in 2003 allowing teachers to carry concealed firearms if they qualify. That’s 16 years, friends and neighbors. What have most districts done to give our children the same safety politicians, sports stars and fans, and people renewing their driver’s licenses?

Nothing.

The argument goes something like this: If a kid sees a gun on a teacher, he’ll be too scared to learn. Really? Tell that to Israeli children, who witness teachers open carrying ARs or Uzis every day. And are you as a parent or teacher so inept that you can’t teach little Johnny the difference between a good person with a gun and a bad person with a gun? Other objections like older students taking the pistol away from teachers can be easily answered by bolting down a finger key or biometric safe that only the teacher can access. Frankly, there’s not a single challenge worth listening to since, as we’re so often lectured, isn’t this supposed to be about the children?

Would it surprise you to know the gunman in the San Diego synagogue shooting last weekend took off running when the off-duty border patrol agent, a congregant, charged him? Gunmen almost invariably stop shooting or run away when they meet any kind of resistance. If nearly 98% of all mass shootings occur in “gun free zones,” wouldn’t it make sense to have someone — anyone — in that zone able to shoot back?

It’s time we give at least the same (if not more) protection for our young and innocent as we do for so many other groups of people. Otherwise, members of the school board of Jefferson County (and anyone else listening who objects), the blood will always be on your hands.

Sleep tight.

Michael Cummings
Michael A. Cummings has a Bachelors in Business Management from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, and a Masters in Rhetoric & Composition from Northern Arizona University. He has worked as a department store Loss Prevention Officer, bank auditor, textbook store manager, Chinese food delivery man, and technology salesman. Cummings wrote position pieces for the 2010 Trevor Drown for US Senate (AR) and 2012 Joe Coors for Congress (CO) campaigns.

 

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