The need to fortify our schools

Remember when public school officials could plan capital improvements campaigns focusing only on new gymnasiums, better science lab equipment, nicer classrooms and the like? Remember when they could spend personnel money on teachers, custodians, bus drivers, etc.?

Now, they have to think about “safe rooms,” bulletproof windows, vehicle barriers and other facilities to keep students safe. They have to budget for resource officers, for the same reason.

Seventeen deaths were reported Wednesday at a Florida high school, after a former student went on a shooting rampage. It was just the most recent of several this year.

The news was, of course, shocking. It was not surprising.

What is it about our culture that has prompted so many unbalanced people to take their hate out on children? No one seems to know.

What we do know — and what school officials in our area must continue to focus on — is that schools today cannot be mere centers of learning.

They also must be mini-fortresses, with staffs qualified to deal with deadly violence. That diverts resources from education but, sadly, it has become a necessity.

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