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December 21, 2012
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Lt. Dan Marcou Blue Knights
with Lt. Dan Marcou

Newtown shooting: 'In Loco Parentis' and the protection of our children

When seconds count, the police are just minutes away

Unless you studied Latin during your upbringing, you probably don’t know that “In Loco Parentis” is a Latin term meaning, “In place of the parents.” 

Before saying one word more, every school in the nation should have in place right now an on-scene armed response capability while school is in session.

This precaution is necessary to prepare for the inevitable Lanza copy-cat, who will attempt a follow-up somewhere.

The PTTAA
School administrators and teachers have a responsibility which goes far beyond the education of students. It is their responsibility to maintain a safe environment for students as well. This duty weighs heavily on our schools in today’s world of drug dealers, gang banging thugs, and active shooters.

Legislators can assist school administrators in this mission by passing legislation:

Making it easier for teachers to discipline students without fear of litigation.
Making it easier to expel permanently, the dangerous student.
Making it easier for society in general to identify medicate and institutionalize for long term treatment someone, who is dangerously mentally ill.
Lock protections in place so that people can come forward and report someone who is dangerous to society without fear of litigation, even doctors and lawyers.

School administrators nationwide have taken great strides in making the school environment as physically secure as possible. Few have prepared, however, to present an immediate armed defense if visited by a shooter with a mind set on large scale carnage.

It has been said before, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.”

The media is awash with people proclaiming, “There are too many guns in this country and that is why these deaths occur.” 

On the other hand there are those who declare “There were not enough guns at that scene. There needed to be one more gun there in the hands of an honorable gunfighter to stop the threat.”

While the argument rages, in most schools still nothing stands between children and the next subspecies of human being killing his way into the headlines except some locked doors and the noble intentions of unarmed educators.

The time for asking, “Should there be guns in schools?” has passed. Believe me when I say that as you read these words the next Adam Lanza is blankly staring at the news coverage of Newtown to the “click, click, click,” sound of loading magazines.

How do schools prepare for this worst case scenario? What kind of options do schools have?

A police officer in every school?
Armed Security in every school?
How about an organized PTTAA?

What is a PTTAA?
No I didn’t stutter. You have all heard of the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA). I suggest school districts develop a PTTAA, which stands for the Parents/Teachers Armed Association.

They would be a roster of volunteers, who meet together, train together and arrange for a low key, but constant armed presence in all schools.

Each member of the group that is not law enforcement or retired law enforcement would be required to go through the process to obtain a concealed carry permit. They should be initially screened and trained, before being added to the volunteer team. After initial training, the members would meet regularly to have that training, both legal and tactical, updated.

The PTTAA would schedule a low key concealed carry presence, during school hours as well as a beefed up presence, during special events. They would carry radio communications allowing direct contact with 911. Each on duty member would carry a firearm, with reload capability. Their one responsibility would be a constant armed over-watch of students, our most precious commodity.

Something to think about...

Call To Arms!
Too many teachers have died defending their students with nothing to stop the gunfire but their courageous hearts. The list of locations where teachers have thrown themselves between the shooter and students is already too long. Teachers died doing this very thing at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Cazenovia, Jonesboro, and more.

What parent would not do the same for their child?

Since the parents were not there, those teachers threw themselves into harm’s way and laid down their lives without hesitation “in loco parentis.”

Never until now in history of the United States has the loss of the lives of 26 innocents ever inspired a call to disarm in America.

“Remember Newtown!” is not a call to disarm, but a CALL TO ARMS!


About the author

Lt. Dan Marcou retired as a highly decorated police lieutenant and SWAT Commander with 33 years of full time law enforcement experience. He is a nationally recognized police trainer in many police disciplines and is a Master Trainer in the State of Wisconsin. He has authored three novels The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop , S.W.A.T. Blue Knights in Black Armor, and Nobody's Heroes are all available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Visit his website and contact Dan Marcou





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