The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to. - Marian Wright Edelman
On March 4, the Duplin County commissioners had their monthly meeting. Some concerns on school safety were brought to our attention. I am appalled at our jump to school security by hiring armed guards for our schools. Schools are public educational institutions and not prison institutions. Every time something tragic happens in our schools, everyone tries to make changes to someone else’s tragedy. Since Columbine, our systems, made a downwardly trend and still has an achievement gap.
I agree with school safety, but I do not agree with armed guards and SROs in our school systems. I have never agreed to such an immoral push to safety. How can one person with a gun be any different from another with a gun?
In the past we have seen such ill measures as “tasing” a5-year old, “strip searches” of young teens by males, and many other ridiculous incidences.
SROs in the Duplin County School system have only caused defiant behavior and warrantless charges among our young and youth.
In a report I had completed, between 2008 and 2009 school year, there were 125 charges placed against the young in the Duplin County Schools, some youth as young as elementary grades. Schools are institutions of knowledge and where learning takes place. If we are to teach children, we must use their obstacles and struggles as learning experiences, and not criminal records. Ignorance is not an excuse, but misbehaving in school and disorderly conduct are two extremes.
How can you charge a child of an infraction that he has no knowledge of? Too many teens 16 and over are faced with criminal charges in school. These charges lead to time from school and their education, criminal charges on their record, and lack of self -esteem later in life.
Duplin County, “LET US FIND OTHER SOLUTIONS”, to these problems. The Newtown shooting was an isolated incident there. Our students do not even have textbooks that elementary students can take home and study, nor does the students have spelling books. (If that has changed let me know) I think funds of $1 million is too much for school security for armed resource officers, when problems have not estimated to that much. If we put PRAYER, love and care, and a sense of belonging back in our schools, funds for that type of security would not be needed, nor limit our student’s abilities to learn and function.
In 2006-2008, Duplin County spent $300,000 a year on school bus cameras.( Yes, cameras on them to monitor how long it takes a child to get on the bus.) To my understanding in a 2000 school safety report those issues were already in place. I think the schools need to educate the students and place efforts in that area.
As a whole Duplin County needs to be concerned with reaching the NC State’s efforts on school performance, instead of the Nation’s level on school security.