Turn Kindergarten into Fort Knox? Go Ahead! (Die Welt, Germany)

Until a few days ago, Die Welt editor Iris Anyali, who has a son in an American kindergarten, made fun of the security measures at his school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. But Anyali writes that after the tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut, she will never do so again.

For Die Welt, Iris Anyali, writing about her change of heart, says in small part:

My five-year-old son Finn goes to an American kindergarten – one exactly like Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

As I write these lines, the massacre of Newtown is a day old, and until two days ago, I made fun of Finn’s kindergarten on almost a daily basis. I should say that I live in Berlin, we maintain a long-distance relationship, and I am currently on a visit to the United States. My husband takes care of the children and works there.

The nation where people loudly protest when the president wants to “interfere” with health insurance, the nation that hates it when anyone interferes with its right to arms, oil and fast-food, hands over its children at the school entrance without resistance, as if it were the border to a foreign country for which it lacks a visa.

By the time I heard about the massacre in Connecticut on Friday, I had already picked Finn up from kindergarten. While he was in his room having his Playmobil knights fend off a dangerous dinosaur attack, I was in the living room stunned as I watched TV at the lowest possible volume.

I take my hat off to the teachers of Sandy Hook Elementary School, who after the disaster, led their students out of the school building in such a disciplined manner as if they were on their way to the gym. Now I understand why it was possible.

I will never again complain about the security measures at Finn’s school. As far as I’m concerned, they can turn his kindergarten into Fort Knox – and I take my hat off to the fact that to my son, the school manages to look as homey as Sesame Street.

READ THIS COLUMN IN ITS ENTIRETY IN ENGLISH OR GERMAN, OR READ MORE GLOBAL REACTION TO THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY, AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

Author: WILLIAM KERN (Worldmeets.US)

Founder and Managing Editor of Worldmeets.US

4 Comments

  1. Somewhere I have read comments from parents objecting strongly to the presence of “armed guards” at their children’s schools. For years here in Florida, we have had at least one armed policeman or sheriff’s deputy in each of our schools with his or her vehicle parked in a spot clearly visible as people drive onto the campus. All our schools are fenced with gates that often locked during the school day. All visitors to each campus must report to the office (and it has been made very difficult, if not impossible, to do other than report to the office.) I used to pick up my grandchildren before they grew up and could drive themselves. I have always had to wait in the office for them, my name had to be on a list of approved adults allowed to take the child from the campus, and I had to have my driver’s license to identify myself. Perhaps this seems a bit extreme to some, but I always felt that everything was being done to keep our children as safe as humanly possible. I’d rather have the fences and the law enforcement presence than to have our children at risk for something like we witnessed on Friday morning. Even with all that we have in place, it isn’t impossible that a gunman could find a way to do harm. I agree with all who believe we need to ban possession of assault weapons by private citizens.

  2. My high school had security, but no armed guards. That is what the police are for…and even they get murdered by armed criminals.

  3. The officers and deputies who are assigned to our schools aren’t marching back and forth in the front of the schools. Their assignment is named “Resource Officer” and they teach classes on various safety issues and are a integrated part of each school’s faculty and staff. The object is for there to be a police/law enforcement presence in each school. It seems to have been effective in the years the program has been in place. The school districts pay a portion of their salary and their original place of assignment: police department or sheriff’s office, pay the rest.

  4. Gun bans will never remove the threat of an attack. Maybe you can leave your kids at risk for some ideal, but I notice that the adults are always given armed protection.

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