Weekly Feature

2018-02-22 / Letters to the Editor

Time to protect schools is now

We all witnessed evil at its worst last week in Florida as yet another school shooter upended the lives of countless families. We mourned for the impacted families and victims. Now, we can no longer wait to protect our schools, much like we protect our government buildings, airports and sporting events.

While we can’t eliminate these heinous events, we can improve our chances of stopping future attacks or cutting short active attacks.

First, it starts at home. Parents need to redouble their efforts to remain active in their kids’ lives, including, and, most importantly, in their kids’ social media activities. It’s inconceivable that a teenager can possess multiple weapons and ammunition stockpiles, post pictures of them on social media and parents be oblivious or indifferent. We all must be engaged.

Second, our children need to police one another. In the aftermath of Florida, interviewed students predicted this individual would be the one to exact this type of evil. Therefore, if not already implemented, our schools need an anonymous tip line so that these types of concerns can be reported in real time. Most corporations have anonymous tip lines for employees to report potential wrongdoing. Our schools and students deserve the same.

Third, and most critically, we need meaningful deterrents in our schools. Each school in our district should have armed, off-duty/on-duty or plainclothes officers. We need to send a message to those wishing to inflict harm in our schools that they will be met with equal or greater measures of force.

In closing, budgets reflect priorities. A school district with an annual operating budget of more than $100 million can surely find ways to re-prioritize how these dollars are spent in order to fund armed security at our schools.

It’s the least we can do. Our children are counting on us.

Ryan Cimo Braunview Way Orchard Park

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