News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 26, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: March 26, 2013

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Second thoughts on armed guards

We have decided it is best to put armed guards in our schools. People feel that their children are more protected. The question is, are the children better protected, or is it an illusion of protection?

We know there was an armed guard at Columbine eating lunch on the parking lot. This armed guard exchanged fire with the killers. The guard was a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s department. There was another officer nearby who exchanged fire with one of the killers. Neither officer was able to stop the massacre in 1999.

The push to put armed guards in schools is not isolated in Terre Haute. Highland Central School district in New York made the same decision after the Sandy Hook murders, but they responded more quickly and had a police officer stationed at their schools before Terre Haute decided to do so. The police officer, who rotated between three school buildings had his weapon accidentally discharge in one of the buildings while students were present.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. But the fact no one was hurt or killed was simply luck.

If enough school systems decide to hire armed guards for their schools, it is only a matter of time before a weapon is once again accidentally discharged. Or perhaps, an armed guard leaves his or her weapon where it should not be. Hopefully it will not happen here, or anywhere else for that matter, but it is likely it will happen somewhere again in light of the fact that a weapon discharge happened within weeks at a New York school system recently.

— Ernie Kramer

Terre Haute

CODA focusing on core services

In the days since the Council on Domestic Abuse announced that we are closing our Transitional Housing facility, I have been asked more than once if CODA is going away. I would like to assure the community that CODA is not going anywhere.

The decision to close Transitional Housing was a difficult one. Since 1998, this program has provided victims of domestic violence with a safe place to live at a reduced rent while they worked to further their education and gain employment.

However, we recently learned that we no longer qualify for our major source of funding for this program — a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — because HUD is shifting its focus from funding transitional housing to funding permanent housing for the homeless. With great regret, the CODA board of directors decided that it will no longer be financially feasible to provide transitional housing.

While we are saddened at the loss of this program, we believe that our resources can be better used to serve more people and do the most good by concentrating on our core services: providing emergency shelter in a confidential location for victims and their children; offering counseling, support, and case management; assisting victims in navigating the legal system; and educating the community about domestic violence and sexual assault.

We could not provide these services without assistance from the community. We are extremely grateful to 100+ Women Who Care Vigo County and to everyone involved with the Elements Salon Spa Hair Show for their recent support.

Most importantly, we want to emphasize that we are still here because we know that many people in the Wabash Valley still need our services. If you are experiencing domestic violence, don’t try to shoulder the burden yourself — please call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-566-CODA. We will discuss your options with you and try to get you the help you need. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Additionally, if you would like more information on domestic abuse or sexual assault, or if you want to know how to help CODA by volunteering or donating, please visit our website at www.codaterrehaute.org.

— Cheryl White, president

CODA Board of Directors


Terre Haute

Again, consumers getting ripped off

Once again, I can’t believe the recent gas price hikes here in Terre Haute. I haven’t seen anything on the news for excuses like hurricanes, gas line explosions, etc.

Even today, crude oil prices are down a dollar, which is supposed to be the main source of high gas prices. When will our great newspaper and TV stations do an expose on this gas-gouging?

Also, forget calling the attorney general’s gas-gouging hotline because they won’t even take your complaint now unless the governor declares an emergency, which I wish he would do, just once.

Once again, consumers are getting ripped off.

— Matthew Voll

West Terre Haute