Cumberland Times-News

April 30, 2013

What exactly is meant by the term ‘security’ in schools’?

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

—  As usual the Times-News muddles the topic. It fails to ask, much less answer the question “What is security?”

School security is a broad topic. Many places are doing different things and some schools are making no changes.

 Until you define security you cannot fund it or assign it to a department. You need to answer the questions of “Who, what, why, where, and how.”

 There are many aspects to security. Are you talking about security inside the school building; in the parking lot, in the area, in the neighborhood?

What sort of weapons are you concerned with? Does the same situation prevail at every school? Have you even considered less expensive options like metal detectors or CCTV?

 Also the why is important. If the board of education wants extra security in the form of more school resource officers, what has changed in our schools since one year ago? Have they suddenly become more dangerous?

Please tell us in detail what has changed. If the board of education is just doing this to have an end-run around the Maintenance of Effort, I suggest that they find the money in their current budget for the additional personnel.

If the school board is just doing this because of Sandy Hook and nothing has changed in the schools, then it is just monkey-see, monkey-do.

 Without a plan and fuller discussion of what is meant by security, it is a waste of time talking about it. It becomes just words, chatter and great for newspapers to harp on for lack of anything else to write about.

Judith Weller, PhD

LaVale