Following yet another school shooting, parents are worried about the safety of their children in school. Within a popular Facebook group dedicated to issues within Newton USD 373, the question was asked if Newton schools have a protocol and training for students and staff.
The answer is yes. And that training, as reported by this newspaper prior to the Florida tragedy, extends to the youngest students of USD 373.
It is difficult to talk about the idea of someone entering a preschool intent to do harm to a child. It is difficult to have that conversation with a four or five-year-old. We here at The Kansan know this first hand. We have children of our own, in that age range.
But those conversations must happen. Our own history here in Harvey County demands it. Two years ago a man entered a manufacturing facility in Hesston armed with a weapon. His shooting rampage, which started in Newton, claimed three lives in addition to his own. Our children have been exposed to a violent event.
In 2014 a reserve police officer became a hero when thwarting a kidnapping attempt — a man had broken into a home with the intention of doing harm to a child. Our children have been a target.
As we prepare for what we pray will never happen, we should be talking with our children. It is the reality of our world. We also need to look to our everyday heroes — law enforcement, first responders and teachers — who we know will lay down their lives to protect our children.
This spring there will be training for kids, and drills in schools. We should support the efforts.
— Kansan Editorial Board