Lucky or good, ND schools have avoided tragedy

Parents and students planning for the upcoming school year have this to be thankful for: schools in ND are comparatively safe.

Yes, bomb threats have been made in the past and weapons discovered and confiscated. But we have not had a Newtown or a Parkland or anything close to those horrible attacks on children occur in this state.

Whether we’ve just been lucky or those in charge of educating our children are good at what they do, the state can feel blessed so far.

A recent report confirmed that ND schools are better off than those in many other communities we hear about.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler said in a press release Friday that the report says the state has no “persistently dangerous” schools within its borders.

“North Dakota defines an elementary or secondary school as persistently dangerous if two criteria are met: The school has had a gun violation or a violent criminal offense committed on school property during each of the last three years, and if the school expelled a certain number of students in two of the previous three years for violence or weapons offenses.”

Again, North Dakota has no schools that fit that definition. And there are a lot of people working toward keeping it that way.

“Our school teachers and administrators work hard to provide a safe learning environment for our students,” Baesler said in the release. “Our North Dakota families and students also deserve credit for keeping our schools safe.”

She acknowledged that others deserve credit for their efforts too.

Baesler and other education, emergency services and law enforcement partners are planning a series of public meetings across North Dakota in the next few months to listen to public comment on how to improve school safety.

That is certainly good to know – for everybody – but especially for moms and dads about to send their kids off to begin another school year and another chapter in their young lives.

Plan to attend one of those meetings.