Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: School safety

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 26, 2013 8:19 AM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, March 26:

One of the safest places for children is at school.  School violence has been declining since 1990.  The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice indicates that during the 2008/2009 school year, 83% of the nation's schools reported no serious violent crime. 

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On the other hand, there have been at least six mass shootings at schools (not including college campuses) since 1989, including the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December where 20 children were shot and killed.

The Sandy Hook shooting resurrected the national debate on guns.  It's a discussion that continues and probably won't subside for some time.

What Sandy Hook also did was shine a spotlight on school safety.  Many educators and schools across the country have re-examined their policies and security to guard against a similar incident.  Some have gone as far as and still others are discussing putting armed guards in schools or arming teachers.

Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk will focus on school safety.

Our guests will be Donald Smith, Emergency Planning and Response Management Coordinator with the Center for Safe Schools, Dr. Don Bell, superintendent of the Northern Lebanon School District, and state Rep. Mike Regan (R-York), who has introduced a bill to allow armed retired police officers in schools for security.

Listen to the program:


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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-26 08:14

    E-mail from Manuel:

    "There is a marked difference between diligent vigilance vs. overreaction. What steps do you take to prevent overreaction and blowing these situations out of proportion?"

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-26 08:18

    E-mail from John:

    "I reject the assertions by the guests that there has been a significant increase in school safety since the Connecticut shootings. I concede that statistically speaking schools are relatively safe in that very few children die in school from violence each year. However, most schools were, to use a security phrase, "soft targets" before the Sandy Hook shootings and they still are regardless of these "trainings" and emails and heightened awareness.

    The speakers should say straight out what they know to be true."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-26 08:24

    E-mail from Mike:

    "It is impossible to have total safety at schools and maintain a comfortable learning environment. Our schools are turning in to prison type facilities and zero tolerance protocol is making criminals out of our children and students. There is always a risk in everything we do in life, it is part of living in a free society. I think we are doing way more harm than good."

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-03-26 08:43

    E-mail from Deb:

    "I am appalled that your guest said "our most precious students were affected at Sandy Hook." I don't know about you, but all of my children are "most precious." They are today as adults and were throughout their lives as preschool, elementary, middle, high school and college students.

    I would hope this man isn't a parent!"

  • aburitz img 2013-03-26 08:47

    I wish our legislators would expend more energy on closing loopholes in gun registration rather than the implicit acceptance that we have to accept this solution That we are even having this discussion is shows just how far out a whack our society is with regards to guns. Those who insist on having their second amendment rights should foot the bill for this idea not the I suspect, majority of over taxed citizens who want nothing to do with guns.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2013-03-26 08:52

    The extreme violence promulgated by video games, TV, movies, online videos, overseas wars, domestic abuse, bullying, etc--------this is where the REAL conversation of how to make our children safer SHOULD be focused.

    But, the military/police/security mentality needs raison d'etre ---when the overseas wars wind down, there'll still be the at home WOT.

    The total elimination of school attacks can't be done.
    There are far too many schools, too many different types of buildings, too many variables. The gradual inculcation of fear into the daily lives of Americans serves the added function of generating a populace more willing to acquiesce to military ventures: "...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.... all you have to do is tell them they're being attacked, etc" (Hermann Goering)

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