UofL Law Professor Laura McNeal Comments on Connecticut School Shooting

Brandeis School of Law faculty member Laura McNeal, a school safety expert, weighs in on Connecticut school shooting in this Courier-Journal article.

Laura McNeal, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law and senior fellow at Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, said the conversation has mostly focused on high schools, but will now encompass elementary schools.

McNeal, who specializes in school safety issues, believes Friday’s shooting may cause more schools to seriously consider installing metal detectors, a measure that has been controversial.

“I say that with caution,” she said. “Obviously, we don’t want to create elementary schools that feel like prisons, but I think with today’s technology we can set them up to where they don’t look like traditional metal detectors.”

McNeal envisions metal detectors incorporated into door frames to soften their presence. Such measures, however, create new questions — How would hundreds of students with car keys, metal zippers or other metal objects be screened? — but McNeal thinks the shootings will spur the willingness to tackle such issues.

“I don’t think we can ignore the dangers that lurk out there,” she said. “I strongly believe everyone has a stake and will support improving school safety.”