The Times West Virginian

Opinion

December 19, 2012

No children should ever have to attend school in fear

It’s likely that several parents hugged their children a bit more tightly Monday morning before sending them off to school or watched them a few seconds longer as they skipped off to the bus stop.

It was a natural reaction considering the horrific massacre that had transpired in Connecticut just three days earlier.

And it was a reaction being felt across the country as parents struggled to calm fears and school administrators pledged to add police patrols, review security plans and make guidance counselors available as students returned to school for the first time in the aftermath of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

We all know the details by now.

We know 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., most of them children between the ages of 6 and 7.

We know the school’s principal and counselor were killed as they tried to protect the young students.

And we know the children were in their classrooms, places that had been, up until that very moment, some of the safest places on Earth for them to be.

Schools across the country have taken extra steps this week to ensure students’ safety and calm parents’ nerves. As The Associated Press has reported, school districts have asked police departments to increase patrols and have sent messages to parents outlining safety plans that they assured them are regularly reviewed and rehearsed.

Although some officials refused to discuss plans publicly in detail, it was clear that vigilance will be high this week at schools everywhere.

That can certainly be said for Marion County, where officials are not only being extra vigilant, but are thinking of ways to further protect students and staff.

During a meeting of the Marion County Board of Education on Monday, Superintendent of Schools Gary Price said most of the schools in the county are using the appropriate security measures, but he encouraged those facilities to look at their procedures often and get feedback from those involved in the school and others. He suggested that parents meet to talk about these security issues and share ideas.

Price also said that while all suggestions for improving school security might not be able to be implemented, the school system needs to seriously consider each idea that is brought up.

“Everyone wants their children in a safe, secure learning environment,” he wrote in an email to the schools Monday related to security inquiries. “We owe them the opportunity to suggest ways that can help that happen. We are still public institutions and cannot become armed camps, but we cannot let that deter us from doing everything we can to secure the safety of our children and employees.”

We cannot begin to imagine the horror and grief that families in Newtown have faced since the scope of Friday’s shooting became clear.

But we can be comforted by local officials’ efforts to protect Marion County’s students, and we hope students of every age know their local schools are safe and secure.

After all, no child should have to go to school in fear.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads