School 'couldn't have prevented shooting'

2012-12-15 10:21
US President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he speaks about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut,in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

US President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he speaks about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut,in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - US 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.

Prior knowledge

"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 12 other 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 theatre in Aurora, Colorado last July that left 12 dead and 58 wounded.

"That was a movie theatre, this was a school," he added.

Bond was the principal of Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky, where on 1 December 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 09:30 local time. 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.


Read more on:    us  |  us school shooting  |  gun control
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Welgemoed - 11:58 AM
    Road name: Jip De Jager Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Kommissaris Street
  • Monday Milnerton - 11:51 AM
    Road name: Koeberg Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bosmansdam Road - expect delays
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia X6

Heralding the new Xseries range, the Nokia X6 is the...

From R2414.53

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.