News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Editorials

April 19, 2013

EDITORIAL: Keep school security a local issue

Legislature right to drop unwise plan

TERRE HAUTE — The decision to provide armed security inside a schoolhouse should be made locally. The serious concerns raised by such a significant step are best aired and addressed by local school boards, administrators, parents, mental-health professionals and law enforcement officials who know the distinct characteristics of the community.

School districts serve distinct populations. Terre Haute is not Carmel. Corydon is not Gary. All communities, though, must now confront troubling choices over safety policies, tragically illuminated by the Dec. 14 massacre of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

The Indiana Legislature wisely dropped a measure that would have required every Indiana public and charter school to arm an employee with a loaded gun while classes are in session. Lawmakers revised that bill to authorize armed employees in schools, but called on local school boards to decide each year whether to implement such a policy.

The concept stemmed from a predictable response by the National Rifle Association to the Sandy Hook shooting, proposing an armed security guard or staff member in every U.S. school. The like-minded bill with the armed-employee mandate that emerged in the Indiana House drew opposition and criticism for a smorgasbord of reasons from numerous state officials and education groups, including Gov. Mike Pence and state Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, both conservative Republicans.

Pence said, appropriately, “I have a strong bias for local control. I think decisions that are nearest and dearest to our hearts ought to be made by parents and local school officials. I believe that’s so in this case.”

Those decisions are big. The difference between arming a school worker — such as a teacher, principal, counselor — and hiring an armed school police officer is significant. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported last week that the Noble County sheriff reconsidered initial plans by his department to train volunteers from school staffs in firearms safety when confusion arose over which public entity — the county or the school district — would provide insurance coverage for those involved.

Also, the administrator of the workers’ comp plans for Noble County and the school corporations said it would cancel or not renew its coverage if the armed employee policy went forward.

The training of those school workers to engage an armed intruder would not match that of seasoned police officers. (See story, Page A1.)

The step by Vigo County schools to place an armed security officer in every local schoolhouse has been rightly regarded as a model response to the security dilemma. The investment required to implement and sustain that program may not, though, be feasible statewide or in many other communities. The county and the school corporation will split the $135,000 annual cost of staffing security in 10 schools in outlying parts of the county. The city and school district will similarly split the $353,000 yearly cost of placing armed officers in the 12 schools inside the Terre Haute city limits.

The Vigo plan is as thorough and encompassing as any could be. Other counties and cities have the same fears and considerations, but may have fewer resources. The difficult options must be weighed in those local school board meetings, with parents, teachers and community officials listening and deciding together.

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Editorials
  • Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’

    It takes a special kind of arrogance to flout ethics laws in the manner which former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has violated them. Even when he finally admitted his transgressions, he claimed he could have avoided the matter altogether had he just changed the department’s ethics policy before engaging in the troublesome conduct.
    In essence, this was the old “mistakes were made” acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And the real mistake to which Bennett admits was apparently not changing the rules before he violated them. This is a truly Nixonian moment.

    July 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A green idea worth pursuing

    It sounds like a blue-ribbon idea.

    July 9, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Be safe, be responsible

    The Independence Day weekend brought a brief respite in construction work on area roadways. In particular, it provided needed relief to the congested segment of Interstate 70 in Clay County that is undergoing resurfacing this summer.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar Editorial: City financial health demands an open, honest discussion

    Obscured by the recent rift over use of departmental funds in the city of Terre Haute’s budget are serious issues related to our city government’s overall financial health. The answers may be mired in the complexity of municipal finance, but coming to grips with the situation is important to the city’s future.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
    As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.

    July 3, 2014

  • Editorial: Texting law serves safety

    July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws today, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.

    July 1, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: For kids, an immediate need

    If you agree that not much is sadder — and potentially more unsettling to our society — than a child torn from his or her home, here is a way you can make a difference, one kid at a time.

    June 28, 2014

  • Editorial: A center for the future

    The Monday morning “groundbreaking” at the site of the new Vigo Schools Aquatic Center in Voorhees Park was largely ceremonial. It will still be a few weeks before work on the $9.8 million facility actually begins. But that didn’t stop the highly anticipated event from taking place, and it was clear from remarks made by a host of VIPs who took turns at the podium that this project is destined to produce great things.

    June 26, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A proud moment for Vigo County

    Most people, regardless of their personal opinions or beliefs on the matter, will admit that they knew the day was coming when Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriages would be overturned by a federal judge. It has happened in other states that have encountered the issue.

    June 25, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Getting smart about fighting crime

    When those “CSI” TV shows began to burst on the scene in 2000, viewers were mesmerized by the flashy scientific and technological methods police labs were using to build cases against criminals.

    June 21, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Forging ahead

    Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.

    June 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: More needed from Speaker

    Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma did what most people expected he would do in the wake of Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner’s ethics probe.

    June 18, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A woman in the House

    The twists and turns of politics can produce unpredictable results. Just ask Bionca Gambill.

    June 17, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Enticing more students back to campus a worthwhile initiative

    Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years — some ideas worthy, others flops — none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDITORIAL: Celebrating local success

    It’s always an uplifting occasion when good things happen to good people. And so we join in the celebration of three people who this week achieved a new level of success and recognition for their professional and personal contributions to life in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

    June 12, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Shoring up the VA

    How America cares for its veterans is indicative of its values as a nation. We’re confident the vast majority of citizens agree that health care for military vets through the country’s network of VA hospitals should meet or exceed common-sense expectations.

    June 11, 2014

  • Editorial: Playing the Nazi card

    There was good news to report from the Indiana Republican Party Convention conducted last weekend in Fort Wayne. The GOP nominated three women to top its general election ballot in November. There isn’t much gender equity in Hoosier politics, so seeing these three rise to the top of the Republican ballot this year is refreshing. But perhaps the best news is that Richard Mourdock, two-term state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, will no longer hold public office at the end of this year.

    June 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Cleaner environment will help boost city’s image

    In Terre Haute, the difference is becoming apparent between responsible stewardship of the environment and a look-the-other-way attitude about dumping harmful materials.

    June 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle’s words told a personal story

    Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day when Allied Forces led by the United States military invaded France on the beaches at Normandy. It was the crucial turning point of World War II against Nazi Germany. To observe this somber anniversary, we have given this page’s editorial space the past three days to the columns written by Ernie Pyle in the invasion’s aftermath. Pyle filed three columns about D-Day that were circulated widely in American newspapers beginning June 12, 1944. The first appeared Wednesday. The second appeared Thursday. This is the final column.

    June 5, 2014 2 Stories

  • EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle walked the beaches of Normandy

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 — I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
    It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.

    June 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Remembering D-Day — in the words of Ernie Pyle

    NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 — Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.

    June 3, 2014

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Rape, sexual assault demand greater attention

    When the facts, figures, commentary and analysis about the devastating impact of rape in our society have been consumed, the daunting, even haunting, question is: What can we do to stop it?

    May 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Editorial: GOP takes up marriage battle — again

    All eyes will focus on Indiana’s dominant political party next week as it meets to nominate candidates to statewide office for the fall election. But nominating candidates won’t be the item on the Indiana GOP convention’s agenda that garners the most attention. Rather, the public will be watching how delegates handle a proposal to reintroduce the concept of supporting the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was deleted from the party’s platform during a previous convention.

    May 29, 2014

  • tstribunestar Editorial: Sycamores march on into NCAA baseball tourney

    The traditional academic year at Indiana State University ended earlier this month, so a quieter time has fallen over the Terre Haute campus. But Sycamore pride is swelling this week nonetheless. ISU’s baseball team was selected on Monday to the field of 64 for the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

    May 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Liz Ciancone: Jail? He’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it

    Sometimes when I’m feeling as if I’m running on empty, someone will toss me an offbeat idea I would never have been able to dream up on my own. And so it was when a friend brought me a clipping from her hometown newspaper over in Illinois.

    May 26, 2014

  • nabors.jpg Editorial: Never too late for another tradition at the Indy 500

    The Indianapolis 500 endures on a unique mix of tradition and change.

    May 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronn Mott: Always sad when good die young

    I think I’ve written or talked about funerals since I came back to Indiana in 1986. I had gone to about six or seven funerals or visitations at that point in time. Since then, I have attended approximately 50 or so of them.
    This past week I went to a visitation for Bradley Deetz.

    May 23, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news

    Another great year on the track

    Heavy hearts for nun’s passing

    May 22, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Fixing Vigo’s vote centers

    Concerns over flaws in Vigo County’s new voting system have settled in the weeks since regional vote centers were rolled out to replace precinct voting sites in the May 6 primary election. But the Vigo County Election Board does indeed have some work to do to improve the system’s performance by the November general election.

    May 21, 2014

  • Editorial: Play ball!!

    Terre Haute’s rich baseball history is well-documented, with famous names such as Mordecai “Three-finger” Brown, Max Carey and Tommy John among those with strong local ties. So it’s fitting to see all the activity this week at Indiana State University’s Bob Warn Field, site of the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. Eight teams, including second-seed ISU, are vying for an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament — and potentially the College World Series.

    May 20, 2014

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