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McNair Elementary School Shooting: A Security Failure?
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How much security is enough? After such incidents as the Sandy Hook shooting, elementary schools have upped their security to prevent needless tragedies instigated by disaffected youths. Yet despite their revamped security, with the necessity of visitors to be buzzed in for clearance to enter the school, there was a shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was killed or injured, but shots were fired. The gunman, apparently a teen, got no further than the school’s office, where he asked a secretary to call police. The response was immediate: soon helicopters were swarming and students were evacuated, and though shots were fired, including a few shots the youth took at police using a rifle, nobody was injured.

WSB-TV assignment editor Lacey Lorey spoke with the woman the gunman spoke with, and she said she was alone with him and the gun was visible.


“It didn’t take long to know that this woman was serious,” Leroy said. “Shots were one of the last things I heard. I was so worried for her.”

Despite the shots fired, nobody was hurt, and once the gunman was detained, without injury to anybody involved, the school was programmatic and exact in its dispersal of students to their parents. The students were taken to safety away from the school, and made to wait for buses that brought them to a nearby Wal-Mart where their parents eagerly awaited their return.

Police hung yellow tape over intersections, and the buses each carried an administrator, a teacher, and a Georgia Bureau of Investigation officer. Parents retrieving children had to present ID and have their photo taken — endless formalities and red-tape exacting on the parents, despite the fact that the danger had long been detained and removed, but perhaps the formality and thoroughness of their procedures, pointless though it effectually was, gave the illusion that administration was in fact in control and no danger could possibly get the children.

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At least parents cheered when the buses arrived, and they were glad to see that their version of Sandy Hook lacked the high death toll — indeed, lacked any death toll — and gave parent’s only a sigh of relief.


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