P is for paranoia
During the late 1990s, public school officials, aided by the media, scared parents and children into thinking that a shooting spree a la Columbine could happen anytime, anywhere, even though school violence actually was on the decline. Time and money was wasted installing expensive security equipment and conducting disaster drills, and many students were unjustly and harshly punished for relatively minor offenses under zero-tolerance policies.
Well, just when it seemed that common sense might again be making a return, the U.S. Department of Education, despite having no specific threat information, is telling schools to be on the lookout for potential terrorists. This is all the result of the bloody attack on a school in Russia that left 340 people dead:
The effort is the latest by the Education Department and other federal agencies to encourage school officials to maintain and practice a plan for responding to emergencies. ...The federal government is advising schools to take many steps to improve the security of their buildings. Those include installing locks for all doors and windows, having a single entry point into buildings and ensuring they can reach school bus drivers in an emergency.
Guess what? Most schools have been doing this stuff for years. All this latest warning will do is create a new climate of fear in a place where it can do the most damage.
UPDATE: Floor plans and security information about schools in six states were found in Iraq, according to ABC News.