EDITORIAL: We’re losing our way in the “Secure our Schools” debate

Meadow Pollock

NOTE:  according to a Wikipedia page that tracks school shootings in the United States, there have been 213 school shootings since the April 20, 1999 killings at Colombine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Around the nation local school boards should be examining how they can fund two certain priorities:  (1) hardening the schools they operate and (2) hiring armed security officers for each campus in order to protect the children they educate on a daily basis: quoting Andrew Pollock, the father of fourteen year old Meadow Pollock who was murdered at Douglas High School, “everything else can wait.”

The comprehensive solution to this horrific recurring problem rests partly in gun law reform, partly in mental health/civil liberty reforms and partly in school security — but local school boards cannot wait for our Federal Government to enact a comprehensive solution — because they won’t, because they NEVER do.

School Boards across the nation need to secure our schools immediately so the horrifying scenes that have played out at Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School and now Douglas High School (to name only a few) never happen again — enough is enough.  State Governments need to support local site and personnel funding requirements in a partnership with the Federal Government, much like the way road construction is funded across the nation and if our taxes need to be raised to accomplish this so be it.

TO REPEAT: this issue is ONLY about securing our schools NOW and local school boards need to demand the assets that they’ll need to do the job.

My daughters school district in Orange County California has four armed police officers for thirty-eight schools.



Saw this blurb this morning as I read the news in my Twitter feed…

George C. Marshall
General, U.S. Army

There is a sense of relief now that the shooting, artillery and airstrikes in Mosul and Iraq in general are dwindling.  That collective feeling of relief is normal but can be savored only briefly because now comes the most critical phase of the operation — winning the peace — the phase the United States and its partners have failed in in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our policy is directed not against any country or doctrine, but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos. It’s purpose should be the revival of a working economy in the world so as to permit the emergence of political and social conditions in which free institutions can exist.”
George C. Marshall
Secretary of State 1947-49
Secretary of Defense 1950-51

All of the fighting that has been done and all of the death that has befallen the citizens of the region simply delivers this coalition and the nation of Iraq to the doorstep of an opportunity to create a better reality for the people of the region… but can they create that reality on the ground?  Will they seize THIS opportunity?  Will this time be different?

“Winning the peace” or “Phase 4” is difficult work.  It is where the United States and it’s partners succeeded in post World War II Europe and Japan and then again in post-armistice South Korea yet have failed in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let’s hope Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson have the foresight of General and later Secretary George Marshall — the visionary of what ultimately became “The Marshal Plan” — and enact policies that are in the long term best interests of the region and not policies that are simply expedient.  The Bush and Obama Administrations both destabilized the order of the Middle East and Afghanistan — both attempted the expedient and we have seen the fruits of that course of action.

In Mattis we trust, as we who fought for him always have.