Letters to Editor for March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
New School Security Needs
The recent Glen Miller article, ï¿½Free Gun Training Offered to School Employees,ï¿½ contained within it a rational and pragmatic response by the superintendents in the Chardon and Kenston school districts, and by the Chardon High School principal.
They indicated that the school environment is no place for staff members with concealed carry training.
Trained police officers in schools would be appropriate in the school environment; trained officers have hundreds of hours of training to deal with potentially lethal situations. The reported ï¿½concealed carryï¿½ course has a meager 12 hours of training.
There are several reasons which compel me to agree with the above cited educators:
1. School employees with 12 hours of training are not trained to make instantaneous decisions as to who the shooter is. For example, is the person with a gun the shooter or merely a student or staff member who picked up a discarded gun?
2. In a chaotic, potentially lethal situation in a school building, panic occurs and innocent students or staff members may be injured or killed in the crossfire by someone with only concealed carry training.
3. Are other concealed-carry staff members in the same building with a weapon who would potentially misidentify another ï¿½concealed carryï¿½ staff member as the shooter?
4. When the police arrive after a shooting, when the shooter remains in the school building or even if the shooter is presumed to have left the building, their obligation to identify and neutralize the shooter may be compromised by ï¿½friendly fire.ï¿½
5. Guns in the hands of anyone other than a police officer in a school building leads to the potential of the guns being mislaid, stolen or accidentally fired.
6. School districts, individual staff members and boards of education are open to law suits if a ï¿½concealed carryï¿½ staff member fires his/her weapon in school, even if it is accidental and there is no real threat.
7. The traditional, professional relationship between student and teacher will change from the current educational model to one of student and guard.
8. Schools need to remain a safe haven for the educational, social and emotional needs of students by continuing to maximize the various security elements that are available to school districts. Police departments will and need to continue to advise and consult with the school staff to maintain a safe environment.
A concealed carry policy proposed for school districts by some members of the community in the 2-27-13 Maple Leaf article is not a reasonable response to the tragic new world that educators, parents and students find themselves in currently. Colorado legislators have appropriately voted to reject this suggestion.
Encouraging and working toward a reasonable administrative, teacher, community and trained police officer response to the new security needs of the contemporary school district offers the best path to student safety.
The Face of Tyranny
Recently I was the object of an article in both the Chesterland News and the Maple Leaf. I was referred to as a ï¿½hecklerï¿½ because I cracked a joke, which caused a reaction from one of the trustees.
I attend very few Chester trustees meetings, but as I thought about what occurred I could not help but reflect on what Thomas Jefferson said, ï¿½When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.ï¿½ Which would people rather have? Lately I wonder. I vote for liberty.
The reaction to my kidding around was a threat of a police action. Wow, I was caught off-guard. We have seen this type of behavior before in history and I am sure you can think of examples.
After reflection I decided to not let this go unchallenged. Each citizen that attends these meetings is there for one reason; to hold our elected officials accountable. That is a noble and a proper reason.
Our elected officials (not Mr. Radtke) just past an anti-fracking resolution. This was done without a public forum or a well-researched and well-reasoned basis. They spent $85,000 on a bio-retention system, which accomplishes almost nothing to ï¿½protect the environment.ï¿½ The bio cell required a redo of the parking lot costing approximately $250,000.
They spent over $800,000 on a property, which has become a park, and then $20,000 to put a conservation easement on it which bars Chester residents from ever being able to use the property differently, even though in 50 years Chester might be a different place. Then they violated the terms of the easement.
They purchased an $110,000 house, let the pipes freeze and paid another $6,000 to repair all the damage. It now sits unused.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Some might say this is moving forward; I personally think it is moving backwards and I wish more folks from Chester would attended these meetings. If it werenï¿½t for the few that do attend, more nonsense might just happen.
If you are curious about what you read in the paper, come and see for yourself. I promise you it will be eye opening.
I agree with another Jefferson quote: Freedom is lost gradually from an uninterested, uninformed, and uninvolved people. ... It is unfortunate that the bureaucracies that we trust are not trust worthy because we have not done our part to be watchful.
Bear in mind we have an election this year.