The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission report gives us some insight and direction on preventing and mitigating Mass murder in schools. I would like to point out some things that I think are most useful to our state of Utah.
First is cost. The report points out. “More funding is needed to ensure adequate school security and prevention measures, but cost will always be a factor in school-hardening decisions; therefore, districts need to establish priorities. It is recommended that districts implement a tiered approach to campus hardening that begins with basic harm mitigation concepts that are of little or no cost and those that may be implemented quickly.” P 83 par 3 I believe that our schools can be hardened without massive capitol expense.
True school safety is the goal. Not just making people feel safe. Physical barriers and electronic devices can cost into the Billions of dollars when retro fitting the large number of schools in Utah. Although we think that these are worthy expenditures. Utah is not known to sufficiently over pay teachers. Education funding is always hard to fully fund in the legislature.
Two quotes from the MSDSC report gives some insight into what may be the best answer for Utah. “Deputy Peterson responded to the area of Building 12 within approximately 1 minute 39 seconds after the first shots were fired. Prior to his arrival 21 victims had already been shot, nine of whom were fatally wounded. This makes clear that seconds matter and that SROs cannot be relied upon as the only protection for schools. Even if there is a rapid response by an SRO, it is insufficient in and of itself to safeguard students and teachers.” P97 #6
We “ should allow teachers who volunteer—in addition to those now authorized—who are properly selected, thoroughly screened and extensively trained to carry concealed firearms on campuses for selfprotection, and the protection of other staff and students in response to an active assailant incident.”P104 par3
These point to the answer that can save the most lives for the lowest expenditure of precious funds. The FASTER program was pioneered by FASTER Saves Lives in Ohio. This program has trained many teachers and other school staff for years and has a six year record of success.
We are bringing FASTER Saves Lives to Utah. We invite all school staff with concealed firearms permits to apply for the training. This initial training will be held during Spring Break time, March 23, 25, and 26, 2019. Those school staff who don’t have permits and would like to attend should take a concealed firearms class forthwith.
We believe that FASTER is the most effective and thrifty way to harden Utah schools. Many Teachers and other school staff are now legally carrying firearms in schools. We assert that giving them this advanced training in handguns and trauma first aid and advertising that there are trained people in schools with skills on par with law enforcement. Will make our schools unattractive to those who would be tempted to murder school children to become infamous while committing suicide .