The plethora of challenges that face our children every day was the focus of a Sunday session called “A Realistic Study of School Threats.”
Presenter Richard J. Caster of the Ohio School Boards Association emphasized that not all threats to our students are from the outside. Many of the activities our students engage in can be extremely harmful if not deadly.
The session opened with the belief statement that that the biggest obstacle to school safety is “denial.” Many have an overwhelming belief that tragedies like Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook can’t happen in their districts. The session went on to present, through video and other media, various threats to students that most administrators, teachers, and board members would not believe existed.
Caster also discussed the “active shooter” phenomenon. The Columbine killers along with their counterparts at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook shared the same goal: body count. They want their legacy of death to be remembered for a long time. Caster presented little-known background information on the killers.
The presentation then turned to the issue of human trafficking. This crime against children and mostly women generates the second largest illegal revenue in the country, behind only the drug trade.
Caster also looked at international terrorism, including the idea that a terrorist attack could take place involving a number of targets at the same time. He asked participants: “Is your community equipped and prepared to respond to an attack at a school, hospital and another ‘soft target’ in terms of neutralizing the threat and taking care of the injured?”