Protecting Our Youngest Students

Monday, April 1, 2013

The massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Conn., in December forever changed the elementary school landscape in Hillsborough County and across the country. But lost in the debate over how to protect our most vulnerable students is the need to keep security and education separate and distinct.

Teachers, principals and other school personnel are in the job of educating and running schools. Although they routinely have to play the role of campus cop, allowing them to carry weapons crosses a dangerous line. That is the job of the professionals — highly trained law enforcement officers, or security firms, who know how to protect citizens and respond to armed madmen.

In Hillsborough, school board members need to follow the recommendation of their superintendent and security consultant and permanently hire armed officers for the county’s elementary schools — no matter the cost.

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