Apparently police alarms are the best we can do to protect our kids from gun violence
Pullable fire alarms have been standard in schools for decades. That makes sense, because not only have they been required by building codes for literal generations, but pulling them activates an alarm that tells students, staff and teachers to exit the building in case of a fire.
Now, in some schools, those alarms will sit next to bright blue police alarms that can be pulled in the event of an active shooter at a school. Because in 20-fucking-18, that’s the best we can do.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the alarms are new this year in more than 20 Illinois schools. They’re manufactured by an Elgin, Illinois-based company called BluePoint. When pulled, they trigger a signal sent to both BluePoint and the local police.
More than 20 schools in Illinois — including 4 in Chicago — have installed alarms that contact local police in the case of an active shooter.
— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 16, 2018
Who even thought this was a viable solution? Does someone out there really think kids die in school shootings because they don’t have a way to notify law enforcement? That a shooter is going to enter a school where no one has a cell phone? That an alarm will somehow help police get to a school fast enough to prevent deaths? Because in every school shooting that has ever occurred, the police were called immediately, and they responded as quickly as they could. And kids still die with shocking regularity.
Illinois schools set up 'active shooter' boxes that look like fire alarms pic.twitter.com/6n2KzvwwZd
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 17, 2018
This seems like a good time to point out that there are actual, tested ways to stop school shootings (and, spoiler alert, they all have to do with gun control). We know this because nowhere on earth are school shootings as frequent a problem as they are in the U.S. Other countries have already figured out how to stop them, and we could, too. The answer is definitely not police alarms, though BluePoint bills itself as the “complete solution” in halting school shooters ASAP.
In reality, this “solution” just gives kids a false sense of security without actually doing anything to make them safer. It also monetizes this tragedy for yet another corporate entity — one Illinois school spent $90,000 on this system, so BluePoint has almost certainly made millions on installing it at around 150 schools nationwide.
“I feel a lot safer than I used to,” said a fifth-grader at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, which recently spent nearly $90,000 to install the security system. https://t.co/9CKrD6ZWVt pic.twitter.com/WYMStDZcgx— Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) September 16, 2018
Kids deserve better than yet another money-grabbing pseudo solution to something that is a real, life-threatening danger they face every day. This is just the latest shameful inaction that will not save our kids.