After her army service and before starting university, an Israeli friend of mine worked for a while as a security guard at elementary schools.
All the schools have armed guards now in Israel, for obvious reasons. They guard entranceways, check bags of people going in, and basically stay on the alert for anything suspicious. It’s sad but necessary. And as much as I hated my friend’s choice of job, it did pay better than waitress or gas station attendant… and let’s face it, these days it wasn’t really any more dangerous. But as much as I love Israel, I was grateful that I live in safe, secure Canada, where schools don’t need security guards.
This morning, on my regular drive to work, I passed by a local Jewish elementary school, as I do every day. Yesterday was the first day of classes after Passover for the students there, and I didn’t notice anything in particular since I went into the office very early. But today, I drove by while the kids were out in the schoolyard for recess. And in addition to the teachers at their regular posts inside the schoolyard fence, I couldn’t help but see the security guard standing just outside. He was wearing a big jacket saying “SECURITY” in huge letters, and wearing an earpiece, and he was watching the traffic and all the people around the school with an alert, hardened look in his eyes.
He was the only guard I saw, but there may have been others. I understand why it’s necessary. The U.T.T. firebombing makes extra security a necessity. From the parents’ point of view, the more the better – anything to protect their kids.
But it also saddens me immensely that it’s come to this. That here, in safe secure Montreal, we need security at elementary schools to prevent sickos with agendas from attacking children.