The President's Blog

Blog Archive

School Safety
Jim Hansen

Safe Schools - Is there ANYTHING we can do?

Its Presidents' day as I sit at this screen trying to write something that would comfort a Hill-Murray Parent following the continuing tragedy of school shootings.

In my email box is a notice from CNN of a 17 minute national "walk out" by high school students to protest the killings and to inform congressional leaders of the students desire to seek gun control legislation, an updated memo on the security review we had completed a summer ago and a list of the training we have had this year, so far, on fire and active shooter responses as well as our plans for the remainder of the year.

All of the reviews, planning, practices are necessary but not sufficient. As a leadership team and concerned faculty we will continue to prepare ourselves and our students but i fear it will not be enough. Legislation might help but it will not address the root cause only the severity.

Schools and parents must build the tools and capabilities to identify when interventions are necessary. We say we know, love and respect each student but credit card companies and even baseball teams are better at predicting what their human capital will do than we are as an institution that has them for up to 8 hours a day. I know we can do better and we will propose the start of a data warehouse next year to build such a system...but that will take years to be effective. In the mean time our campus ministry team will take on the challenge of even more outreach for families to help them in recognizing signs of distress and resources we can call on.

We will host a mass on the day of the WalkOut in March to pray for those students, teachers and families.