Nebraska Lawmaker and Retired Educator, Senses Tipping Point in School Safety Debate

BEATRICE – A Nebraska State Senator who’s spent a career in education including many years as a school administrator, says there’s been a shift in progress toward school safety.

Dr. Roy Baker, a former Superintendent of Norris Public School District, says the aftermath of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that took 17 lives in Florida, has moved the needle toward a more serious examination of solutions.

:39                  “previous incident”

Baker, who has grandchildren in 1st and 3rd grades in Minnesota, says school safety hits home for him, personally.  He says many school districts are now stepping up discussions about school safety, to find what additional steps or changes can be made, to ensure the school environment is a safe one.

:24                  “about that”

Security cameras in schools…non-existent years ago, are now common.   Baker recalls as a school administrator of a rural district, he was skeptical over the need for police presence in schools, in the form of a school resource officer.  Now, it works out well for many school districts. There’s also an issue of isolation, for some districts.

:19                  “was worrisome”

Other rural schools, or those located in very small communities, may not have quick access to emergency response.

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida incident, some…including President Trump, have said teachers should carry guns, as one way to address school shooting incidents.  Baker doesn’t like that, as a solution.

:10                  “lost a lot”

Baker feels what’s pushing the U.S. to more carefully consider solutions to preventing school mass murders, is the actions of students, themselves.

:15                  “ever have, before”

Several major corporations in the U.S. have also recently broken ranks with the National Rifle Association, or have made decisions not to sell certain weapons, or restrict sale below age 21.  Baker says it appears “we’re at a tipping point”…a sign that people are truly fed up” with the occurrence of mass shootings.

:25                  “where that goes”

Baker, who represents Gage County and southern areas of Lancaster County, is serving his final year in the legislature, opting not to run for a second term.

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