The school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018 is only the most recent reminder of the chronic and persisting gun violence problem in the United States.
Since 2000, there have been more than 130 shootings at elementary, middle, and high schools in 43 of the 50 states. Nearly 70 people have been killed and nearly 200 wounded resulting from high school shootings; at the elementary and middle school levels, about 60 people have been killed and another 60 wounded.
Extending this problem further, there are numerous other cases of school intruders who, while not intent on mass shootings, present a danger to students.
In the days and weeks following any national shooting, the nation lights up with debate about gun reform. This inevitably ends in a stalemate as we devolve into heated partisan arguments, and ultimately no action is taken to make our schools safer. We believe that legislative action, while important, is not the only route available.
In order to be most effective, school facilities need to meet modern standards for safety. Unfortunately, “modern standards for safety” now must include additional safeguards to make our schools more impenetrable to unwanted intruders. Technical, physical, and operational protections, in addition to pre-existing measures, are an imperative first step. But this is where problem #2 comes in: these things cost money.
School budgets are already stretched beyond their capacities. Furthermore, funding per student in Michigan continues to decrease every year. Many budget sacrifices are made in order to afford just the basic necessities to keep a school running well; how can we ask our schools to allocate a large portion of that budget to buy and implement costly safeguards?
At the intersection of these two problems: school intruder violence and diminished school funding– that’s where Hallpass aims to help. Click here to see our solution!