To The Editor:
I am writing this letter with a heavy heart, frustrated mind, and tearful eyes. We live in a time that totals 27 school shootings in almost six months. We continue to ask ourselves what can be done? I think leaving issues that affect the local communities most to federal legislation will always lead to more problems. At this time, we need to band together and come up with real solutions. At the end of the day it is up to us to protect our children. You may be asking what are some real solutions?
I propose that all our school systems have police officers in place every second a student is in a building providing real-time security. I would ask our Board of Education to put in place rules to prevent our superintendent from preventing police from entering our town buildings, as during the pandemic when many people have been criticizing police for political reasons this was an action taken and supported by some. Now is not a time to be political, but it is a time to protect our children.
We need to learn from previous events. We need to increase security at building entrances. I think we should have each classroom equipped with a panic button. We need full-time therapists in all schools that regularly meet with students. Teachers and therapists need to be regularly trained to identify troublesome students.
Lastly, if you own a weapon in this town, or any town, you need to properly store and lock it. You need to educate your children to not touch your weapon(s) and you need to take all responsibility if they do something wrong with your weapon. Any person in this world that hurts a child, mentally or physically, is an action taken by the weakest and lowest human(s) on earth. It is always up to the strong, ethical, and responsible people of our communities to protect the rest. If our Board of Education, school system or town tells us they cannot keep our children safe due to “budgetary restraints,” then we demand better. If we need more security then let us get parent volunteers trained to provide additional security. We can be the solution, as our government will never be a solution for school violence and this year is evidence of that.
I pray for all those in Uvalde, Texas. Please hug your children extra tightly, as I know I will.
Louis D’Onofrio Jr.