School Safety and the Meaning of Comprehensive

Protecting Children in Schools

The State Legislature has been trying to address the problem ex-service people are having finding work. There is a way to provide useful and needed work to ex-service men and women. Employ them as school security personnel.

The tragedy at Newtown made it very clear that current safety measures are inadequate. The buildings themselves need to be made more secure including systems that speed-up police response times. It took 20 minutes for the police to respond in Newtown. If they’d arrived sooner, there would be less focus today on the number of bullets allowable in a gun magazine.

Having security personnel in schools would also serve as a deterrent to those who would behave badly––parents irate about students’ grades or a teacher’s approach to a subject, fired teachers wanting to chew out an administrator, or a mentally ill person capable of inflicting bodily harm on children or teachers.

Adding trained security personnel would counter balance the fear now felt by millions of school children who were exposed to the Newtown story. They would see that their country cares enough about them to protect them.

In my opinion these security personnel should not wear uniforms and their weaponry should not be prominently displayed, for to do so only adds to children’s fear level. It’s enough that they know that person is there to protect them. Monies should be taken from the TSA program, which was a huge over-response to the problem and needs to be down-scaled, and if not enough former military personnel are available to work in schools, hire ex-TSA monitors.

Political Dictionary: The Meaning of Comprehensive

You may think you know the meaning of comprehensive, but if you apply the standard meaning to the political realm, you’re going to miss what’s really going on.

When a politician calls for a comprehensive approach to a problem, such as health care or immigration, here’s what s/he is saying to the members of the other party. “I’m going to hold up a needed change, which I happen to agree with, as a bargaining chip because your constituents want it more than mine.”

Too abstract? Let’s take an example from the current discussion of immigration reform. The business community would like to be able to hire more skilled workers than they are able to find domestically. They would like to offer unfilled job openings to non-US citizens, but the quotas are too small to meet the need. Making that change, which has nothing to do with ILLEGAL immigration, has been held up and tied to a comprehensive solution. Why? Applying our understanding of the meaning of “comprehensive,” it must be that the Republicans want it more than the Democrats and the Democrats won’t deal with it by itself because they think they can use it as a bargaining chip to get something they want.

Hence, whenever you hear anyone in Washington call for a comprehensive approach to an issue, you can bet your last dollar that legislation with bi-partisan support is being held up in hopes that it can be used to get someone to support legislation favored by only one party.

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