The Michigan disaster

The shooting deaths of four Michigan high school students by a 15-year-old allegedly given a hand gun by his lunatic parents for his 15th birthday is a tragedy all of us must pay close attention to.

That the shooting deaths occurred inside a high school makes this crime especially heinous.

With greater care and interest shown by everyone in a position of responsibility indicates the slaughter of four young people might have been prevented.

We wonder in this editorial whether or not Everett’s Public Schools are safe zones?

What do teachers, administrators, principals do if a 15-year-old is found to be searching for ammunition on his or her cell phone inside a classroom at Everett High School?

The parents are probably called, as happened in Michigan last week.

After a discussion, the parents refused to allow their son to be dismissed from class.

The kid’s backpack wasn’t searched.

It likely held the gun that he would later use to slaughter four of his classmates.

The kid was sent back to class. His parents disappeared, the shootings took place and a giant tragedy has unfolded once again inside an American public school.

Is there a protocol to follow in the Everett public schools to reduce the risk of such horrific shootings – and if there is – what is it?

Would a kid be allowed back into his classroom by the principal after it was shown the kid was searching for ammunition to buy?

Would his back pack be searched?

More to the point, is Everett prepared for challenges such as these?

It really isn’t part of the student handbook about what to do when the shooting starts inside the school.

Are there protocol for locking down the school, and for blocking shut the classroom doors?

We have no question the Everett Police Department would be on the scene in a moment’s notice and we have no doubts either that heroic, all out efforts would be made to subdue a shooter.

What we wonder about is this: is it time to search kids coming into class in urban high schools?

Is that too Draconian a policy? Or might such a policy, ultimately, one day, save many lives?

The horror show in Michigan at Oxford High School is every parents’ worst nightmare – and for many of the younger people who witnessed this horror, and this includes of course those who were wounded- returning to a normal life is something not easily achieved or ever achieved in some cases.

It is unimaginable that some of the worst acts of violence in this nation for the past two decades have occurred inside public schools.

The popular notion that these type things happen elsewhere, that it can’t happen here, well, that is short shrift.

It can happen here in Massachusetts or anywhere for that matter and as history has shown, it does time and again.

We urge the EPS Administration and the School Committee to give some thought to looking again, and more closely, at planning for the worst.

No public school system in the land is guaranteed a free ride from this type of gun violence.

A discussion should be had once again about what exactly to do to maintain the rights of students while at the same time juxtaposing that against protecting students from being slaughtered by gun toting classmates.

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