Looking for answers to school security questions
by Donald Conkey
Columnist
January 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 896 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What has America come to when it wants to have armed guards in its schools? It is truly a sad day for America, but reality is reality, and parents will do everything to protect their children.

But America must find a better ways to protect the children without having armed guards patrolling school hallways.

The Newtown, Conn., school massacre was not the first school massacre nor will it be the last, no matter what steps law enforcement officials take.

Following the Newtown massacre, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison was quick to step forward and offer immediate county assistance to the school system. Garrison is to be commended for his quick and responsible action.

But Garrison was also quick to respond to the cry for stronger gun controls, especially to those who would take the people’s guns away from them in their efforts to destroy the Second Amendment.

His letter to the editor of the Tribune was clear and to the point. Again, he is to be commended for stating his position so clearly on this highly emotional and volatile issue.

Incidentally, he is not alone in stating his position on this issue. Sheriffs all across America are making the same statements.

While pondered what could be done to better protect the children without bankrupting the school system I noticed an article headlined in “The Blaze” titled “Bulletproof Whiteboards.”

The story was about a company who has developed lightweight bulletproof products to protect America’s military in combat and whose CEO saw how similar products could be developed to protect school children. Their company then designed inexpensive whiteboards that could be used to protect school employees.

More expensive than ordinary whiteboards, these whiteboards are bulletproof and capture all bullets fired into them so the bullets don’t ricochet around the room, but not so expensive that a community could not come together and provide bulletproof whiteboards for its schools.

One board, 18 inches by 20 inches, costs $299; the 10-inch-by-13-inch board costs $109.

I called Janet Read and offered, should the school board choose to follow this path, to purchase one of the larger whiteboards for our local school. I’m quite sure there are enough businesses and individuals in Cherokee County willing to provide one board so that each school would have sufficient whiteboards to provide a semblance of protection against the next madman or boy that goes off his rocker and tries to kill the world around him.

But as we all know this is not the real solution to America’s inner moral decay.

While browsing my Gospel Library app recently I read a talk given by Ezra Taft Benson, former Secretary of Agriculture for eight years under President Eisenhower.

He began his talk by quoting Ezekiel, chapter three. But he also quoted from historian Edward Gibbon’s book, “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire,” pointing out how America’s current decline is comparable to that of the self-destruction of the Roman Empire anciently.

Gibbons summarized the Romans decline with five points: “1. The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society. 2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses for the populace. 3. The mad craze for pleasure, sports becoming every year more and more exciting and brutal. 4. The building of gigantic armaments when the real enemy was within the decadence of the people. 5. The decay of religion — faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life, and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.”

Gibbon’s words had a chilling effect on me as one who sees the same trend here in America.

But it was Benson’s closing words that I believe provide the real solution to America’s moral dilemma.

He declared: “There is great safety in a nation on its knees.”

He then continued with: “The spectacle of a nation praying is more awe-inspiring, more powerful, than the explosion of an atomic bomb. The force of prayer is greater than any possible combination of man-controlled powers, because ‘prayer is man’s greatest means of tapping the resources of God.’ The Founding Fathers accept(ed) this eternal verity. Do we? Will we?”

Benson’s desk prayer read: “O God, give us men with a mandate higher than the ballot box.”

Now, “will we” as a community, come together and provide the initial security our schools need immediately, until such time as America can come together as a “nation on its knees”?

It’s worth considering madam chairwoman.



Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.
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