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What is adequate when it comes to school security?

Earlier this week, three male students from a Pittsburgh-area high school wound up in the hospital after a shooting incident near the school. Fortunately, according to WPXI, none of them received life-threatening injuries and police report they have a student suspect in custody.

Eleven months ago, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the victims were not so lucky. Who can forget the rampage that left 20 children and six teachers slain?

In the wake of such events, is it any wonder that concerns of possibly inadequate security are being raised? It surely isn't a hard question to answer for individuals and families who have suffered injuries or deaths due to dangerous properties.

Here in Pennsylvania, LancasterOnline.com reports that parents in Octorara are trying to press the school board to increases school security. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that similar discussions are taking place all across the country.

According to one survey that is supposed to be made public next month, nearly 90 percent of 600 U.S. school systems polled have already made changes to security policies or beefed up security at their facilities. In Tennessee, one county reportedly pledged to fork out $500,000 to install classroom barricades and surveillance at all of its schools. That reportedly would pay for 14 teachers.

The U.S. Education Department says deaths due to school campus violence are rare. Of all youth homicides tracked between July 2009 and June 2010, only 19 of the nearly 1,400 happened at schools. Still, security is seen as a burgeoning opportunity for private firms.

Amid all the heightened awareness over the issue, perhaps one of the biggest questions policymakers have to answer is what constitutes adequate security?

Source: Bloomberg.com, "Newtown Rampage Spurs $5 Billion School Security Spending," Annie Linskey, Nov. 13, 2013

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