DR. TERRY RAY: Indiana should follow Butler's example
We have come to expect very little from our elected officials when confronting a pressing problem. Inevitably, their response degenerates into endless discussion, endless studies, endless committee meetings and endless reports -- all to come up with an entirely inadequate response. Thus, when elected officials actually design an effective solution in a very timely manner and immediately put it in place, we should all give due credit for such admirable conduct.
We have such an example just down the road in Butler. On Friday, there was the tragic mass killing in Sandy Hook Elementary. Just like the Indiana Area School District, Sandy Hook had locked doors, video cameras and intercoms as security measures. None of these was effective against a gunman who simply just shot out the school door glass and walked in with weapons in hand and opened fire.
On Saturday, both the Butler and South Butler school boards held an emergency meeting; on Sunday they had an emergency hearing with a Butler County judge, who granted them permission to place armed guards in every school in the district; on Tuesday the guards were put in the schools.
I have heard from school officials in the Indiana district that we should all be assured that there is already adequate security in place in our school buildings. This is very puzzling since the Indiana schools have the same inadequate system as the Sandy Hook school.
If a gunman were to shoot his way into one of our schools tomorrow, what part of our present system would stop him from slaughtering our students? The answer is none. Our students and employees would be entirely defenselessand by the time the police arrived, they would likely find the same carnage that the Sandy Hook officers found.
Let us hope that the Indiana Area school board will follow the exemplary lead of our Butler neighbors. Let us hope that they, like the Butler boards, will face the fact that locked doors, video cameras and intercoms are wholly inadequate to prevent a determined armed killer from committing mass murder. The only adequate protection against such a killer is a well-trained, armed guard in every school building. If the board's response is that we can't afford it, my two questions would be: 1) Is there anything more important that saving the lives of our children? 2) Just how much is the life of a child worth?
Dr. Terry Ray