School shootings compromise security and privacy

Photo by Gregory Veen (gregveen) via flickr 

Krysti Lopez/Contributing Writer

From tragedies such as the Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, to almost-tragedies such as the student at University of Central Florida who planned to kill his peers, it is clear that the issue of school security is not only a hot topic but one that reasonably presents concern about safety in schools.

Establishing a sense of safety in schools, however, requires a compromise in terms of balancing security and privacy; it is only then that we can feel safer as a nation.

As reported by, teens ages 12 to 17 have seen violence increase in their schools, suggesting that violence is therefore most likely to occur on school property.

In order to resolve this problem of violence in schools, it is important to limit privacy by implementing school rules, contracts and other safety precautions like metal detectors.

Many are opposed to metal detectors because students tend to carry metal objects; however, most weapons used in the school setting are knives and guns, both of which contain metal. If we can ensure that absolutely no knives or guns enter school grounds, then giving up that privacy for safety is justified.

On college campuses, however, students should have more freedom while still implementing security precautions.

Students should not be permitted to carry or mail firearms when living on campus. Just as airport security screens luggage through x-ray machines, those receiving packages on campus should also have their mail screened.

Surely, dormitory resident advisors can do routine checks of dorm rooms on a set schedule, but this does not prevent students from hiding weapons.

Cameras should also be installed in all schools. Outdoor cameras leading to prime locations, such as a school office or administration building, should be monitored at all times. In addition, security cards held by school personnel only should have a passcode that unlocks main doors.

Schools should also encourage the reporting of any suspicious activity to campus police; information on how to do so should be accessible to all students and faculty.

If school systems have a stricter privacy policy and safety policy, we can ensure that violence in schools will greatly reduce. But when it comes down to it, I would rather have my privacy slightly compromised if it meant that my security never was.

Schools and colleges should be one of the safest places on earth; no parent wants to feel as if they have sent their child to gain an education at a dangerous place. In the choice between privacy and security, security should be held in higher esteem. 


1. “School Bullying Statistics,” via

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