Fire Teachers to Pay for Armed Guards in Schools? | Newtown News of Interest |

Eschewing the popular “blue ribbon” title, Governor Tom Wolf announced the “School Safety Task Force.” To his credit, Wolf’s panel will include parents and students — in other words, regular people — in addition to experts from education and law enforcement.


“Ensuring the safety of Pennsylvanians, especially our children, is my top priority as governor,” Wolf said. Until, of course, he’s done running for re-election. But for now Wolf said his chief objective is to “make sure our schools are a safe place for our children to learn.”


Sarah E. Daly, an assistant professor of criminology, told members of the state House Education Committee recently that schools could immediately beef up their security by establishing anonymous tip lines to report threats and concerns. Daly had other suggestions on ways to make schools safer. But the tip line is something schools can do right away.


Here’s something else they can do: Post an armed security guard at each school entrance. That’s our suggestion based on a layman’s perspective. Call it common sense.


Look, most schools already post a monitor at the front door, where the ID of visitors is checked and recorded. But in many cases the monitors are volunteers and look like somebody’s mother or grandmother. Not very intimidating.


We suggest replacing those well intentioned volunteers with real security guards — full-time paid employees wearing uniforms and armed with a gun. Doing so would eliminate the debate about arming teachers and the safety concerns that controversial idea stirred up. Of course, it also would produce a debate ... about cost. So here’s another common sense idea: Eliminate one teacher or administrator at each school and use their very generous salary to pay a security guard or two.