School district to ramp up security next year


Safety at our schools has been a growing concern in this nation ever since the horrors at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

We have seen shootings by students, plans for explosive devices, teachers being attacked and, of course, the horrors at Sandy Hook. Parents, teachers, faculty, neighbors of schools and basically anybody with a heart has been affected by all these tragedies, and everybody wants to see our school children be afforded a safe environment where they can learn in peace.

The Indian River School District has responded to these concerns by implementing an aggressive plan to keep the schools as safe as possible. Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, all 15 district schools will have security personnel. Each location will have either a qualified campus security officer or a school resource officer on duty.

“The hiring of security personnel, along with the adoption of our comprehensive school safety plans, will allow us to be proactive in the area of student safety,” said Superintendent Susan Bunting. “There is no more important mission in our district than keeping students safe when they are in school. We have diligently worked to achieve this goal in recent years, and the addition of campus officers will provide us with another layer of security.”

That’s an important statement by Bunting. This will indeed provide an additional layer of security, and that is always appreciated. It will not stop all potential problems, but it is another step the schools are taking to improve the level of security for our children.

It’s sad that we have entered a time when the top priority for our educators has to be safety, but that’s indeed where we are today. If we can not keep our children safe, they can not learn. If parents do not trust that the schools are doing everything in their power to keep their children safe, then parents are going to look for alternative ways of educating their children.

This had to happen. And it has.

Is it reactionary to events that have taken place in other parts of the country? Sure, it is. But would you rather have them sit on their hands, publicly state that this isn’t a problem here and just move about their days like nothing is happening in the world? They are being proactive before the ugly problem turns its head this way, and none of us could ask for much more than that.

We applaud the Indian River School District for finding between $600,000 and $700,000 to help enhance the security of our local children, and have every confidence they will continue to strive to make their schools as safe as they possibly can.

Your kids are in good hands here.