The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 5, 2013

Your View: An ounce of prevention

By David Guilford
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Are we really doing everything we can to ensure our students’ and employees’ safety? I feel after the tragedy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, the safety of our students and staff must be our top priority.

This means leaving no stone unturned regarding the safety of our students and school employees. The Joplin School District board did the right thing meeting with parents, teachers and law enforcement, but is that all that could be done or will we wait until it is too late?

Our district is installing panic buttons and cameras, but those are only warning devices after danger is in the building. I think we can and should do more!

A committee should be formed of five people from each of the following groups: teachers, law enforcement, building engineers, principals, parent teacher organizations, parents of students from different grade levels and citizens.

This committee should share and discuss all safety issues and concerns and then develop recommendations to be shared with the board and taxpayers in an open meeting and, thereafter, to all taxpayers through The Joplin Globe.

A questionnaire should be sent to all taxpayers to seek their input regarding issues, concerns and recommendations. The board should report directly to the parents and taxpayers regarding their implementation strategy.

There are times in our lives when we should be proactive and times when we should be reactive. However, waiting to react does not bode well for our children.

If we are truly going to make our school buildings as safe as possible for students and staff, there must be ongoing dialogue and a free flow of information on every aspect of our district’s progress.

An ounce of prevention now is worth more than a pound of cure after it is too late.

David Guilford