The Kenosha News will not be a voice in the community that is unclear in our expectation when it comes to an active shooter situation or other serious violence in our schools.
Whether it is guns, knives, explosives, etc., the current security at our schools falls short of adequately protecting teachers and students.
The additional measures the Kenosha Unified School District is pursuing — outlined in Tuesday’s Kenosha News — aren’t enough.
Counselors, cameras, flashing blue lights and shooter tracking will not prevent or stop an active shooter. Time and time again, the only immediate and effective measure that stops an active shooter is a well-trained and armed security officer.
In Florida, the Polk County School Board voted to develop a new school safety program that involves hiring 85 armed school safety guardians who will protect elementary schools throughout the district.
This measure was taken because of a new public safety act that requires every Florida school to be equipped with an armed law enforcement officer or guardian. The act was passed after a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.
Middle and high schools in the district will continue to be equipped with school resource officers.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said the guardian program will consist of 144 hours of specialized training and extensive background checks.
“This is a great program and a good way to add another layer of safety and security on school campuses” he said. “It’s a model for other schools; it is affordable, reasonable, and our children will be safer as a result.”
Unified School Board members and Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis, we want to be assured that our kids are safe in school and will come home at the end of each day.
Anything short of that is shirking your responsibility as a board member and as the superintendent of our schools.
It took a monumental tragedy that left 17 people dead for Florida to act. Is that really what it’s going to take for something meaningful to happen in Kenosha?
We urge the School Board to take immediate action that follows Florida’s plan. Mitigate the threat at our schools in the short term while planning additional layers of security in the long run.