Los Angeles school officials float ideas on school safety in wake of Florida shooting

Monday, March 05, 2018 05:45PM
In the aftermath of yet another deadly school shooting on American soil, the debate over how to protect our nation's students is ramping up.

LOS ANGELES - In the aftermath of yet another deadly school shooting on American soil, the debate over how to protect our nation's students is ramping up.

Many education officials don't agree that guns are the solution.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson was in Los Angeles for a statewide outreach effort hosted by CalEITC4Me, to put more money into the hands of hard-working Californians through the effective anti-poverty program, the California Earned Income Tax Credit.

Torlakson touched on the issue and said we don't need more guns in schools.

"It's not going to deter someone set on creating havoc and causing these horrific events. They're not going to be worried about officers being armed or teachers being armed on campus," he said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Monica Garcia was also at the event, and agrees with Torlakson.

"Our employees and our families, we don't want to see more guns on campus. We want to see more focus on the strong relationships, we want every child to feel supported. We are trying to help all learn if you see something, say something," Garcia said, adding that everyone wants safe, supportive, successful schools. She believes that prevention is key.

"In Los Angeles, we are working hard with our community partners, our families, with all of our students to make sure that safety is part of our daily rituals," she said.
As the gun debate heats up across the nation, there's been an increased demand for active shooter education in Southern California.

Retired police officer Dean Waddell leads what he calls "active killer" training for cities, school districts and public employees. He trained dozens of public employees with the City of Industry Thursday on what to do if the unthinkable happens.

"You need to have a plan: Where are my exit routes if I hear gunshots? Where could I potentially hide and barricade? What type of improvised weapon could I use if I'm forced to fight?"

He added that the better prepared the public is, the greater their chance for survival.

"My job is to say, 'Hey listen, if this happens, you still have a chance,' and develop that survivor's mindset more than anything else. Don't be a victim. Take action," Waddell said.

President Donald Trump this week indicated that arming specially-trained teachers could be a solution to the violence and followed up in a series of tweets Thursday.
"...History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!," Trump tweeted.

He repeated the sentiment at a meeting at the White House, suggesting that some armed teachers should be rewarded.

"What I'd recommend doing is people that do carry, we give them a bonus, a little bit of a bonus," Trump said.
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