News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

September 27, 2013

EDITORIAL: A strong leader on school safety

Vigo collaboration worthy of study

TERRE HAUTE — While many communities around the state and nation are still searching for the right approach to school safety and security in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre last December, Vigo County has earned recognition as one that sets a standard.

It may not have seemed so at the time, but the collaboration of a diverse set of interests to put an aggressive plan in place for enhancing school security proved to be both innovative and path-forging. And because Vigo County was unwilling to wait around for others to find solutions, it is now being held up as an example of a community that took matters in its own hands and moved quickly to apply lessons learned in Newtown, Conn. In doing so, it shored up its own school security and made students, teachers, parents and residents feel better about their own situations.

On Tuesday, a contingent of Vigo County public officials testified in Indianapolis before an interim legislative study committee on school safety. The committee is looking into possible state responses to the Sandy Hook tragedy and wanted to hear from a community that had taken the lead in improving safety practices and procedures.

In Vigo County, you will recall, a coalition of local law enforcement, government and school officials came together to put school protection officers in each county school building. It was an aggressive, and expensive, plan. But all involved reached a binding consensus that it was the right thing to do.

As Sheriff Greg Ewing explained to the committee in pointed terms, Vigo County decided it was the job of people trained in the proper methods of security and protection to be the first line of defense inside schools in the event of an active shooter such as occurred in Newtown.

“I didn’t go to school to teach,” Ewing told the committee. “I believe teachers and principals don’t need to be worried about doing my job.”

Vigo County’s common-sense approach to the school safety problem was refreshing. While some elements in the legislature last winter were promoting the ridiculous idea that teachers or administrators be required to carry guns as protection in schools, Vigo County’s coalition plowed through the balderdash to craft a far more reasonable plan.

Yes, it’s expensive to have trained protection officers, many of them former or retired cops, working the hallways of our schools. But Vigo County found a way, despite financial challenges brought on by ill-conceived tax caps or cuts in the education budget in recent years.

The legislature still has work to do on this issue. We hope the study committee can make good recommendations, in some cases gleaned from what they learned from Vigo County’s efforts, to make laws better and more adequately fund school safety programs.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest NASA Releases Images of "graceful" Solar Flare Human Antidepressants Making Shrimp Too Calm Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Swiss Unveil New Solar Plane for Global Flight Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity