North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Community News Network

December 19, 2012

Newtown massacre leads to security assessments nationwide

WASHINGTON — For Lisa Betts and her husband, the conversation started Friday at their Silver Spring, Md., home, not long after they heard about the massacre that claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members at a Connecticut school. How safe, they wondered, was the school their two children attend?

They ticked off its safety practices: Doors are locked. There's a buzzer system for visitors. Students practice emergency drills. Video cameras are installed.

"I think it's forced all of us to look at the realities of the world we live in," Betts, the mother of a kindergartner and fourth-grader, said of the rampage in Newtown, Conn.

Across the region and the nation, similar questions about safety have become more urgent as parents find themselves looking at their schools in new ways after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

As investigators continue to examine what motivated 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, safety experts agreed that school practices are uneven and that improvements may be needed in many districts.

Still, experts emphasized that preventing a tragedy like Newtown's is far more complex than installing locks or metal detectors.

"Turning our schools into fortresses is not going to solve the problem," said Dewey Cornell, a University of Virginia professor who studies school safety and cautions against solutions too specific to the Connecticut case.

Federal data show that the number of student homicides at schools has dropped.

President Barack Obama had discussions Monday with White House staff, the vice president and cabinet members, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, to examine ways the country can respond to the tragedy, an individual with the administration said.

In communities far beyond Connecticut, school leaders sought to reassure parents and students, and police were posted outside many elementary schools.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014