Of all the ideas surfacing to make schools a bit safer and make students, teachers and parents feel a bit better in the wake of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., direct school-to-police alarm systems are among the most sensible.
Suffolk County Legis. Sarah S. Anker (D-Mount Sinai) is calling for a study of whether all schools in the county should be required to install emergency notification systems linked directly to police. Clearly, a panic button like those used by bank tellers is not a cure-all. But it could speed up emergency response, and might act as a deterrent.
Most significant, it wouldn't bring guns on campus, as posting armed security guards or requiring educators to carry weapons would. Direct alarms from schools to cops seem like an affordable and safe improvement. Let's look into whether they can work.