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Security levies: Voters could decide

March 30, 2013

Ohio school districts may soon have the option to ask voters to provide money for school safety and security — and nothing els....

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Mar-30-13 3:49 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. Despite the very slim odds that a shooter will attack a school here, it is natural and good that our school leaders have been discussing the threat -- searching for affordable actions that would truly make a difference. Parents expect the leaders to seriously address this issue.

Rep. Andy Thompson’s guidance seems very wise. He suggests “authorizing multiple district employees to carry concealed weapons rather than using levy money to employ a single, uniformed security officer.” If certain district employees are authorized to carry weapons at work, they should receive training and pass a certification for being armed on school property. And they should be paid something extra for taking on that additional responsibility. If you really think the (shooter at school) threat requires spending, then arming a few trained and trusted district employees would be the most affordable actions a school could take to protect its campus. And it would really work.

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Mar-30-13 3:47 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. The odds and the costs: a fair-sized meteor exploded over Russia a few weeks ago. The damage would have been much worse if it had blown up closer to a population center.

What are the odds that such a falling body could hit Marietta? Imagine the loss of life and terror. Should we consider moving Marietta somewhere up river or inland? No, the meteor might hit there, too. Maybe we dig tunnels and start living underground.

Not! Despite the horrible consequences of having a meteor fall on Marietta, the costs to even partially protect ourselves would just be outlandishly large and unaffordable. It’s easy to accept that the wise course would be to not spend any money on protection from meteors. We just hope and pray our luck continues.

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Mar-30-13 3:45 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. The odds: During the 32 years from 1981 through 2012, there were 137 incidents of fatal school shootings in the US resulting in 297 deaths (per Slate website). Per the US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, October 2011, there were 79,000,000 students enrolled. The average length of the school year is 180 days (US Department of Education, 2001-2002). So, in the US, we see about 14 billion student days a year. Over a 32 year period, that would mount up to 455 billion student days. Very roughly, if 297 were shot at school during the most recent 32 years span, the odds of a US student being fatally shot in a US school on any given day are about 1 in 1.5 billion.

So if you thought buying a powerball ticket was a longshot at 1 in 175 million, you will readily accept that expecting your US student to encounter a shooter at school is a very, very, very unfounded expectation at 1 in 1.5 billion.

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Mar-30-13 3:43 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. Odds, cost, true effects, responsibilities: But sometimes we MUST turn to government to solve a problem. For instance, the government confiscates multi- billions of dollars each year from US taxpayers to pay for a military sufficiently strong and awesome to keep us from being attacked by our many dangerous enemies. The preparation isn’t always successful – for example, Pearl Harbor and 9-11. Yes, billions are wasted -- perhaps because it is government, because it is very large, because it is military, and for other reasons. And precious lives are lost. But despite the immense cost and waste involved, despite the uncertainty of being attacked, most would agree that we need some kind of military to protect our homeland, and further, that government must do the job and that all taxpayers should share the cost burden.

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Mar-30-13 3:42 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. Odds and responsibilities: The Multi-State Lottery Commission estimated the odds of hitting the recent $320,000,000 jackpot at 1 in 175 million. We all know that buying a powerball ticket is a nearly-infinitely guaranteed waste of $2.00. Yet many play anyway, based on hope or entertainment or whatever.

But who cares? A powerball bet is $2.00 freely pulled out of an individual’s pocket -- by him, not by the government or any other kind of thief. His may not be a smart bet, especially if he is spending his last $2.00 and his family just sent him to the store for food. But in this free country, it is his business, not anyone else’s. If he is causing a problem, it is his problem -- or his family’s --to solve. It is certainly not the government’s problem.

Yes, the Powerball brings temptation to the weak or adventurous. Yet, in this free country, the choice of whether to gamble on the lottery is left to the individual; he is not forced by govt. to play.

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Mar-30-13 3:39 PM

SCHOOL SAFETY. What is the correct solution to the “student safety from shooters” problem? No question, it is an important issue. No one needs further instruction on how to feel about a “Sandy Hook” or a “Columbine”. One instinctively gets sick. These situations are so horrific, so deeply sad.

It is natural to want to prevent such things from ever happening again. Many actions could be launched in the name of increased school safety. But what would be the actual results? After the remedial action, will safety actually be improved by any reasonable measure, or will we just feel a little better for a while because we tried? Our leaders must consider the odds, estimate the costs, weigh the true effects, and wisely assign responsibilities.

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Mar-30-13 12:42 PM

I know schools need good causes and better funding. But why do we always look at the property owners for the funding. I have family living in North Carolina. There schools seem to have the funding they need. Their property taxes are lower than mine. And yes their state income taxes are higher. So isn't the main thing to properly fund our school for the future. Our children? There must be a better way to fund our schools then just taxing property owners too death.

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Mar-30-13 12:29 PM

I agree with universal checks. So let’s move on. Universal checks will prevent felons and other previous lawbreakers from getting guns but we currently do not prosecute all attempts by these folks from trying to by a gun which is against the law. Why is that? I don’t know.

Universal background checks will make you feel good but until the Gov’t complies a searchable list of the diagnosed mentally ill, schizophrenics, bipolar etc, (illnesses you can have and pass a background check) you will be missing the on the large population who are most likely to commit the crimes that we find so disgusting. You don’t see anyone rushing this idea to the forefront because the ACLU will fight this as a privacy issue.

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Mar-30-13 7:36 AM

if the districts can be trusted to use the money for security and thats it, no shady BS like replaniting the football field because it enhances security, and be honest with the voters, than all these security levies should pass if our people have any common sense at all.

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