Sheriff Bob Gualtieri the chair of the Parkland Commission said arming teachers was about saving money. (rough draft)

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was on the radio program First Coast Connect today to discuss the recently complete Parkland safety report and he said arming teachers was about saving money as much as anything else.

During his interview with Melissa Ross, he bemoaned that there were 1500 current police officer openings throughout the state and said we would need an additional 2,000 on top of that number to put a police officer in every school and that would cost 400 million dollars a year.

Um so what? We put over a billion into vouchers every year. Charter schools take out about another two. How much do we spend on testing or blame the teacher’s evaluations? We couldn’t find that money if we looked? I mean isn’t protecting our children worth finding the money?

Let me ask you a couple questions, what problem have you chosen to fix on the cheap and did that work? Would you ask a fireman to do surgery, because isn’t that like asking teachers to be cops too? If your child needed medicine, would you use a cold compress and hope for the best? Hopefully your answers were none, no and no, but for some reason the sheriff and so many others think arming teachers is the right way to go?

Remember he and his report said, arm teachers, not raise the money needed for extra police.  
Isn’t doing things the right way, even if it costs a little more the way to go? Florida is one of the lowest taxed states in the union and I get it we all hate taxes, but don’t we hate dead kids just a little bit more.

Arming teachers for many of the right, and I say the right because I can’t find anybody on the left or in the middle who is for it, isn’t about finding solutions, it’s like the wall, it’s just so they can poke a finger in people who they disagree with eye.

Teacher’s having guns, is a symbol, but like the wall, it doesn’t address the real issues.

Parkland had an armed officer. Cruz had to know that, but it didn’t deter him. What Cruz didn’t get was the services and attention he needed.

I have no doubt the Broward County school district made serious and grievous lapses as this young man fell through the cracks, but we shouldn’t forget he was part of an underfunded and over mandated system where this was bound to happen and we are just lucky it hasn’t happened more.
We need real solutions like more mental health counseling and social worker services because often why a kid acts up and does poorly in school has nothing to do with school.

We need manageable class and workloads so teachers can build those relationships that can prevent tragedy and aren’t so overwhelmed they miss warning signs or worse have to many other things on their plate that they get pushed to the side.

We need to move away from high stakes testing and instead prepare children to be productive members of society and that means focusing on emotional and social health as much as we do regular health.

Then we need to limit the availability of these weapons and restrict who can have them.  

Finally, if we still really think we need more guns in schools, then they should be handled by professionals and we shouldn’t care if it adds a few dollars more to our tax bill.

Our choices are real solutions, of sticking thumbs in the eyes of snowflakes. Paying more and doing it right, or doing it on the cheap and hoping for the best.

Those are our choices.

Consider carefully, a child’s life may depend on it.


To listen to the interview, click the link:  http://news.wjct.org/post/1719-school-safety-medical-marijuana-cole-pepper

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