Lincoln schools talk safety

By: Bill Schammert

It's a nightmare for any parent – a violent attack inside school doors. That nightmare became a reality last week in Lincoln.

Now the timeless debate is again pushed to the forefront.

What can be done about school safety?

One thing's for certain – there's no clear answer.

But schools do say, they don't want to make any knee–jerk reactions.

It's a question we've heard – could a metal detector have stopped last week's attack at Pius?  Court documents say the weapons of choice were a hunting knife and a hammer.

It's a question without an answer.

Father Jim Meysenburg, superintendent at Pius X High school says “We're not going to add metal detectors or back pack scans.”

What we do know, the victim is safe, the girl believed to be responsible awaiting court, and the school's not planning any drastic changes.

“We want to increase the security plans we have now, but we don't want to do anything extreme,” says Meysenburg. 

According to a 2011 study by the Journal of School Health, metal detectors in schools actually make students feel less safe and are more commonly associated with higher levels of school disorder.

Lincoln Public Schools' director of safety Joe wWright calls it a balance; the need to keep students as safe as possible without giving off a negative perception.

“As for Pius, you can expect some change; more attentive teachers and a staff that understands anything can happen at any time,” he says.