A Safety Masquerade

As I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog, I teach financial and retirement planning as an Adjunct Instructor for undergraduates majoring in Financial Planning at a local university. This year all campus employees including adjuncts are required to take a mandatory safety class. If it were CPR or how to respond to a medical emergency, I think it would be valuable. However, it is a “class” on how to deal with “violent situations.”

Western Carolina University is committed to creating and maintaining a culture of safety. As part of the university’s on-going safety initiative, all employees will attend a Campus Safety Training presented by the WCU Police Department and Emergency Management in conjunction with representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources. This training is mandatory for all campus employees and will be held on numerous dates over the coming months.

The goal of this training is to increase campus community awareness to methods utilized and action steps to be taken if confronted with a violent situation; individual and departmental response; preparedness and prevention. A UNC sanctioned video entitled “Shots Fired” is included in the training program. Objectives of this training include but are not limited to: learning to recognize a potentially unsafe situation; learning the university systems and processes for handling a violent situation; learning about on-line websites/linkages to access policies, procedures, and presentations; and identifying campus consultants, referral contacts, and crisis teams/committees.

I’m afraid that this so-called class will be nothing more than a safety masquerade, a sham, a Potemkin village, required in an effort to cover the University administrators’ rear-ends so that they can say they are “doing something”.

The reality of the matter is that I am precluded by both North Carolina law and university regulations from doing the one thing that might actually increase my own personal safety as well as that of the students in my class. That is, of course, to carry a firearm concealed.