Jean Cook Braun, San Clemente
On Thursday evening, January 10, I attended the Community Forum hosted by Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Joe Farley.
While Farley covered several issues quite thoroughly—budget, Common Core, ranking— security of district students was the main topic of discussion.
At one point, Farley noted that a move to install secure doorknobs on the classroom doors in the district—19,000 count—and augment or repair fencing in the seven schools of concern, was being considered. Some parents suggested hiring private security firms, encouraging local law enforcement to “stop by” the schools more often and act as deterrents to those who would do harm to our children.
The entire meeting, lasting about an hour-and-a-half, proceeded without one acknowledgement of how the “elephant in the room” was being ignored. That nothing was being done to address the core of the problem: the proliferation of weapons that harm and kill thanks to the powerful NRA lobby.
I raised my hand at the end of the meeting and stated that as citizens, after all this was a community event, we have a duty to see that laws are enacted that could help alleviate the causes. We have a duty to address this issue head on, with our legislators, instead of locking down our children.
The cost of one doorknob could be as low as $61. I looked it up. Multiply this by 19,000, and the price is $1,159,000. Even as a ballpark figure, this would be enough to install a program that could improve our math scores, bring an extra physical education program to our children, or raise the salaries of our hard-working teachers. Not much, but at least a bit.
Ignoring the real problem in exchange for short-term, reactionary solutions, can only serve to subject our children to more harm than good. I am assured that Farley and his team have more than adequate measures in place to protect our children.
I am not so sure that the citizens here take seriously the fact that if we unite and stand up for our rights, something can be done to address the real villain.