Selma City School Board’s talk on school security is important, but we need action

Published 8:05pm Thursday, January 9, 2014

The article in Thursday’s edition of The Selma Times-Journal said the following, “During the Selma City School work session Tuesday night, Selma City School Board president Henry Hicks, Sr. proposed the local school system improve security for the school system. He said the security guards and unmanned metal detectors are not enough to fully protect the people on Selma City School campuses.”

To that, we offer a heartfelt thank you and encourage the members of the Selma City School Board to come together for once and do whatever it takes to ensure the places where our children go to learn are among the safest places in our community.

But while we our offer our thanks, there are plenty of examples where this board has fallen short in the past and they will have to forgive us if we take a very skeptical stance.

This board has talked about security before after a gun appeared on the brand new Selma High School campus in December 2012. At that point, we were told security officials with hand-held metal detectors were screening every student.

But yet, a gun magically appeared in a student’s backpack and was used in a threatening manor toward a student in one of the school’s restrooms.

To this date, we have yet been told how that gun made it on the campus. Maybe it was magic.

Forgive us if we remain skeptical.

After that incident we were assured the level of security was going to be heightened, that training would be reinforced and that school polices would be reviewed and strengthened.

Forgive us if we remain skeptical.

The board and city leaders have talked about safe passages to schools throughout our community, but work on those projects have been slow, if non-existent.

Forgive us if we remain skeptical.

The board has said the emphasis on school security is being brought about the death of 18-year-old Selma High School student Alexis Hunter. That’s a noble reason, but Alexis was not killed on school property and not during school hours.

Her death is tragic, but likely would not have been saved had school security been increased.

Instead of using Alexis’ murder to strengthen security, let’s focus on the thousands of students in the classroom during normal school hours; focusing on those students on school campus during events.

The discussion of increasing school security is a good one, but forgive us if we remain skeptical. We will believe it when we see it.

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