How Much Is Your Child Worth?
We all know that raising a child today is expensive. A report issued by the Department of Agriculture  states:
For a middle-income family to raise a child born in 2015 through the age of 17, the cost of rearing that child has hit $233,610.
That’s what they cost, but what is your child’s real worth to you? C’mon, try to place a price tag on a child’s worth. It’s impossible, and yet school administrators continue to squabble over financial expenditures towards safeguarding student lives with such items as door security devices. Knowing that the United States was witness to a record 30 active shooter incidents in 2017, why is the response towards student safety so woefully slow?
Okay, it really isn’t fair to stereotype all school administrators as tight-fisted, frugal narcissists. In fairness, most state budgets are providing much less per-pupil funding to K – 12 than it did in previous years. In fact, 44% of total educational spending comes from state funds which have steadily declined by more than 10% since 2008 . So, administrators are doing the best they can with what they have. However, they are still falling short on providing safeguards such as emergency door locks. It is evident that our children’s lives are priceless, yet the action being taken to safeguard students is contrary to that point.
The mere mention of Parkland, Santa Fe, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, or Virginia Tech conjures the images of senseless violence that caused so much loss of life. So, why are there roadblocks in the way of protecting our children? Shouldn’t a child’s safety rise to the top of the priority list? Aren’t our children worth protecting with a door barricade? Though these questions are simplistically rhetorical, there doesn’t seem to be anyone answering with solutions.
The Real Problem
What’s the real problem? In short, it’s one heck of a lot of work for people to change things from the way “they’ve always been done.” For instance, outdated Fire and Building Codes developed many years before the onset of the active shooter threat continue to remain a significant obstacle in allowing school districts from adding door barricades to classrooms. Granted, it’s a lot of bureaucratic paperwork to change the codes, but if the end goal saves student lives, then it’s well worth the efforts. Currently, only a handful of states have made it a priority to change the laws to permit the use of security devices for doors in educational facilities. Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, and New Jersey have updated the fire or building codes in recent years to allow the door stopper devices, in some cases over the objection of state fire or building officials.
Still, remaining states are slow to respond or are in absolute opposition to placing these safeguards in schools. Why? Our children are no longer being killed by fire, but they are under fire at the hands of active shooters at an alarming rate.
Schooling is compulsory within the United States within an age range between five and eight and continuing through an age range of sixteen and eighteen, depending on the state . How is it that we can mandate our children attend schools that have not made it a priority to ensure their safety? There exists a clear and present danger within educational facilities that has been studied and documented by the U.S. Dept. of Justice / Federal Bureau of Investigation since the Columbine tragedy in 1999.
- There were 160 active shooter incidents within 40 states between the years 2000 – 2013 which accounted for 486 killed and 557 wounded.
- In 2016 and 2017 the United States witnessed 50 active shooter incidents in 21 states that left 221 people murdered and 722 wounded .
- More interesting is the fact that the United States averaged 6.4 incidents annually between 2000 – 2006, 11.4 incidents annually between 2007 – 2013, and 2017 saw a record 30 active shooter incidents in one year.
- Although business locations were the most likely location for these tragedies to occur, educational facilities were second .
Our educational facilities are no longer a safe, nurturing environment for our children to learn. Can we really accept the fact that we are placing our children in harm's way while being pacified with the excuse of not being able to afford protection?
In summary, we are mandated to send our children to school while there is no mandate to implement safeguards such as emergency door locks. State funding has been dramatically reduced which severely limits the availability of funds to put our children’s safety first. The FBI has documented the alarming and continual rise in active shooter incidents within the United States. I ask you again, how much is your child worth?
Be the voice that speaks for every child. Contact your school administrators and tell them what your child is worth. Tell them you want door barricades devices in your classrooms.
Be aware, proactive, and safe.
President, Bolo Stick LLC
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