Last month, 20 Grade One students and six school administrators were massacred at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Newtown is about 4,500 kilometres away from Kamloops in a country with different laws and attitudes toward guns and violence.
So how does it come to be that three weeks later, schools here are now locking their doors and requiring students to come in the main entrance — in part, at least, as a response to what happened in Newtown?
One person had this to say on our Facebook page:
“Your title should be ‘Kamloops uses shooting halfway across the continent to strike fear in children and parents alike.’”
There may be some truth to this. After all, any parent asked by a child to explain the new policy on locking doors would be hard-pressed to come up with an explanation that doesn’t involve Newtown — or at least the general threat of violence in this world. Those are scary things.
But the fact remains that after incidents like the one in Newtown, schools in Kamloops and many other places receive copycat threats from warped individuals who take their inspiration from the horrors they see in the news.
And the Kamloops-Thompson school district had to deal with five of them — one of which was considered serious enough that someone could have been harmed. Thankfully, the threats were investigated and defused.
But they can’t be ignored.
Will it help to keep doors locked while classes are in session? It’s hard to say. There were reports that the doors to the school in Newtown were locked, but the gunman still managed to get in.
Certainly, locked doors will at least add to the sense of security at schools. It’s reassuring to know that anyone going into a school will have to use the main entrance, where they can be seen by staff — who could presumably sound the alarm if someone dangerous appeared.
It almost defies belief that someone could walk into a Kamloops school and start shooting people. Nothing like that ever happens here. But then the same could have been said about Newtown — an affluent community where nothing ever happened.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.