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SCHOOL SAFETY: Are private schools safer than public schools?

After another public school was the target of a shooting, many parents are wondering if private schools are the better option for their children.

Posted: May 20, 2018 8:59 PM
Updated: May 20, 2018 10:44 PM

Parents in the Valley are struggling to imagine what the victims' families in Texas are suffering through right now.

Here at home, many wonder if they might need to make changes.

One possible change is removing their children from public schools.

“I keep thinking ‘Not again. Why is this still happening? What can we do to stop this from happening?’”

That’s what Ray Drake was asking himself Friday after hearing about the deadly school shooting in Texas.

But Drake says he might have an answer to his own question.

“A school that teaches the proper values, along with the academic values—information that kids need to learn is more of what we need," he said.

Drake is the father of a student who just graduated from Whitesburg Christian Academy—a private school in Huntsville.

After hearing about another shooting at another public school, Drake says putting his child in private school is one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

“We wanted our kids to have good core Christian values. It doesn’t mean they can’t pull the trigger and do something like that, but we think they’re much less likely to do that," Drake said. "Statistically looking at it, private schools are a much safer option, especially today in the U.S.”

And Drake isn’t the only one who thinks so.

WAAY 31 spoke with one parent whose children are in public schools.

After Friday's shooting, he says he’s now considering putting them in a private school.

“I haven’t heard too much about incidents like this happening in private schools," Curtis Jordan said.

According to a study done by Cato Institute, only eight out of 134 school shootings since 2000 happened at private schools. That’s six percent.

Jordan says he believes there are many reasons behind that statistic—including less bullying and more attention from teachers and staff.

“Class sizes tend to be smaller, so the teacher can tend more to the needs of individuals," Jordan said.

And for Ray Drake, a strong faith-based private school keeps violence at a distance.

“You do things like putting other people before yourself," he said. "It’s back to the good ol’ Ten Commandments. And ‘Thou shall not kill’ is one of them.”

Although public schools have been the targets of shooters, people WAAY 31 talked with say they know all too well a shooting could happen anywhere.

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