Do you feel safe on campus? Most Bullis students answered yes when asked just two months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In a follow-up question, the majority of students could not quite pinpoint what about the Bullis community made them feel safe.
“When I first got here, I thought Bullis’ security from outside was not great,” Boarman said. “Recently there have been instances of people coming on campus who shouldn’t have been here which concerned me greatly.”
Bullis is hoping to make the transition as seamless as possible. Security will be on campus throughout the day and into the night, long after students leave. Their duties will consist solely of external issues involving protecting the safety of students, not internal affairs. The guards will also not impede the ability of students and parents to come on campus.
Boarman went on to describe ideal candidates as trained individuals who are retired state or Montgomery County police officers in their forties. He also stated the candidates must be comfortable working with kids in a school setting and put the safety of those around them as their first priority.
Following the school shooting in Newtown, CT, Washington was (and still is) alive with controversy over the issue of gun control. Part of the debate focuses on keeping our nation’s youth safe while at school. The National Rifle Association, being the nation’s largest gun lobbyist group, is under extreme pressure to come up with a plan to prevent future tragedies. In December, the NRA announced that placing trained, armed guards in every school is the best way to “protect our children right now.”
Right now, one third of all public schools in America have armed guards on campus. The reason not every school in the country is patrolled by security is not just lack of funding, but in larger part because parents, teachers, administrators and students disagree on the effect of armed guards. There is no perfect answer in terms of armed versus unarmed, but Bullis has taken suggestions from both sides to meet at an effective compromise.
Boarman summed the decision up perfectly.
“I don’t think it will happen here, but I do want to be prepared because of the minute possibility it could.”