Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Ratchet Up School Security

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Ratchet Up School Security

The shootings in Parkland, Fla. this past week should have told us rather vividly that we need to ensure that our school children are provided the best “fool proof” security system available.

Therefore, the basic litmus test for those on City Council and those running for a seat on the next City Council should be that they agree to adopt a new set of rules designed to deter those mentally deranged individuals attempting to terminate the lives of our children.

Council candidates must answer the following statements in the affirmative or you won’t vote for them.

  • Do you agree to a 100 percent lockdown of every school once school starts in the morning?

  • Do you agree that no one will enter any school without being previously cleared by the principal or their designated representative?

  • Do you agree to have at least two Alexandria police officers present in every school during school hours?

  • Do you agree to hire at least two off duty police officers to patrol the school grounds of every school during the non-school hours?

  • Do you agree to have at least two teachers in every school approved to have concealed carry permits?

  • Do you agree to add magnetometers to all schools in order that every student and their baggage are screened upon entry to the school premises.

In addition to agreeing to those six questions, each school must also have a detailed plan of action of how to respond to an attack. A GAO report of March 10, 2016 titled “Improved Federal Coordination Could Better Assist K-12 Schools Prepare for Emergencies” (GAO-16-144) indicates that many states and jurisdictions do not avail themselves of Federal resources.

I recommend that the City Council in conjunction with the Police Department and the School Board review the available resources as outlined in the GAO report, and recommend for adoption those programs still in force that can be utilized locally.

There is no higher priority in government than to protect our children and every member of council must agree to this stringent set of rules or find another vocation.

Townsend A. "Van" Van Fleet