Rockwood School District is increasing security at the Eureka High School. To be clear, there is no credible threat. Rightly, out of an abundance of caution, Rockwood is increasing security. Rockwood should be applauded for their concern for the children they have been given stewardship over. And for the moment, this is likely the right thing to do. But ultimately, it is just as likely that this will fail just as the other heightened security measures at schools have failed around the country over the past decade. And the long-term impact will be devastating.
To understand the impact on our children from this change, we go back to the underlying purpose of education and the overriding impact of education. I have repeatedly shown here that education is not primarily about teaching knowledge and skill, although that is an ultimate consequence of a true understanding of education. Education is about transmitting culture from one generation to the next. It is less about head and hand and more about heart.
Unfortunately, increased security inculcates an attitude of a prison. Education should be a liberating experience. Instead, we are making it incarceration. Impounded schools inculcate in our children an attitude of despair, hopelessness, and fear. This attitude can only enhance the attitude of hopelessness and violence already inculcated in our society.
When we responded to the terrorist attacks on 9-11, the overwhelming message was let’s take back our streets. We were admonished to not be fearful of the terrorist, not let them win and force us to remain in our homes. We were to go forth. I am not proposing that we directly encourage this attitude on the young and helpless children. Although, if they see this attitude in their parents, they will learn.
What I am proposing is that we encourage this attitude on our parents and the school administrations. Ultimately, parents are responsible for the safety of their children. They must provide for the safety of the school when the government fails. School administrations must engage the parents to take the first line of defense for their children. Rather than hunkering down, school administrators must call parents back into the schools to engage the children and liberate them to learn. Open the doors and have the parents lead the children out to learn.