To the Editor:

There is a way to keep our children safe in school. It involves a long-term solution and a short-term solution. First, the long-term solution, I believe, is identifying and publicly monitoring people who have by their actions or words express potential to harm others.

Our free society abhors watching and reporting on our friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, it usually is our friends and neighbors who commit these heinous acts and we are shocked afterward. For example, the recent school shooting in Florida was done by a former student.

We have learned that the shooter’s actions and words beforehand clearly should have put him on a “watch list.” He was known to local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, yet nothing was done to stop his horrible rampage of death.

Our present system is not working. It must be changed to something more positive and more formal by our law enforcement professionals and supported by our citizens.

Perhaps placing these potential killers on a formal probation type electronic monitoring and reporting procedure that intensifies as their words and actions become more indicative of disaster. I believe prevention should be the long-term goal of saving our children from those who would harm them. It is not about guns. It is about insanity!

The short-term solution is to put armed security personnel in our schools. People who are trained to respond to an active shooter. Protecting us from harm is the job of our police or hired security personnel.

Allowing teachers who voluntarily carry concealed weapons in the classroom could augment the school security force if the need arises. This should all be coordinated among the police, security contractors and school administrators beforehand.

Many people say placing armed security personnel in every school in America is expensive and cannot be done. I say, “How can we not do this?”

I see a lot of potential “bill payers” for keeping our kids safe in schools. We could stop foreign aid to countries that hate us, and stop funding and hosting the United Nations whose “one peaceful world folly” has not worked for the last 50-plus years.

Stop buying oil from rich Arab nations. We could also ask the Israelis how they keep their children safe in their schools. Please write, text, or email your local school board, city council representatives, and state and federal lawmakers demanding action on this life-threatening issue!

George Van Riper

Harker Heights

(2) comments


Mr. Van Riper, if we monitored all the students that have problems like you allude to, it would be a very, very large number. Do you realize how many students in our schools have bad, negative, problematic attitudes about life and society? There are, unfortunately, a very large number of students. We have criminals, sociopaths. and psychopaths in our schools, just as we have them in all of our society. I am sure that is shocking to many people, but it is unfortunately very true.....Killeen ISD already has armed officers in most of our schools that are trained for emergencies and possible situations that could occur....If we want to make our schools safer, we need to change our society, our priorities, the way that kids and students think....which in many ways now, is severely twisted and depraved. Life does not mean the same now as it once did in our society, and that is a sad, sad shame.


I agree 100%. How many people have bothered to consider how angry and nihilistic we as a society have become?

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