Letters to the Editor

How many dead children will it take?

In the past 10 years we have read and watched, on various media, many accounts of children being killed while attending school by some deranged person. We have to ask ourselves why this is happening and why it continues to happen in spite of learning that it does happen.

There is no school, college, race, city or town in this country that is immune. We continue to watch our children being killed. We watch our leaders say how sorry they are and presidents that visit the site and recite the names of the kids. While this is admirable and sounds gracious, it does not fix the problem.

It is a sad state of affairs when we can go to the grocery market and department stores that have security cameras in their parking lot and all through the store in order to catch shoplifters but we do not have them around our school buildings and in the hallways in order to protect our children. Some people decry that cameras violate freedoms if placed in and around schools but do not seem to mind them in the department store.

Every school in this country should have a complete security system with cameras around the perimeter of the school, in the hallways and alarm systems on the windows. There should be a security officer stationed in a security room with monitors and the ability to lock classroom doors or provide drop down gates in the hallways in order to protect the critical areas in the school where the children are. If time serves, there should be a safe-room that would house the entire school such as a locked down auditorium to prevent entry by an intruder.

When anyone in the local government, as well as the federal government, decry cost as the main obstruction, it is a complete cop out. It is widely known that we have sent hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Israel and a host of other foreign countries in the past 10 years in order to rebuild their infrastructure many times over. We are still sending billions to those same countries. That money could have paid for a modern security system, with cameras and guards in every school and college in the United States several times over with no need for states or the federal government to raise taxes, so do not cry about cost to me.

The taxpayer money sent to foreign countries would have paid for it all for decades to come. We have to ask ourselves this question: What is more important, the rebuilding of foreign country infrastructure or the safety and wellbeing of our school children? I personally would like President Obama, both Houses of Congress and every state leader in this country to answer that question.

We all know what they will answer. They will answer with a resounding yes. Will they stop sending the hundreds of billions of our tax dollars to foreign countries for rebuilding their infrastructure and use it for security systems here in the United States for our schools? No, they will not. Talk is cheap and our government leaders are masters at cheap talk. It is up to us to make that change.

The writer lives in Conway.