At least Duval County School board is trying to protect our kids. Guess it’s better than nothing.

Action by the School Board to protect Jacksonville schoolchildren is welcome.

The vote, with only one dissent, allows the hiring of 107 school safety assistants who will be armed and trained to use the weapons.

With only 56 police officers to guard 160 plus schools, the school system is not prepared for the types of threats that exist today.

On March 6, the board had passed a resolution saying it only wanted regular police officers to guard the children, but apparently the members reconsidered their options.

The school safety assistants will be hired for next school year, at $20,600 per year. They will get 144 hours of training. Most of the cost will be covered with state funds specifically for that purpose. Local costs are only $800,000.

Some people wanted to hire full-time police officers, but the cost would have been astronomical. There does not seem to be any reason the safety assistants can’t provide an extra level of protection at a reasonable cost.

The other view, held by some, is that no one with a gun should be in a school to protect the children. That obviously is foolish, in view of what lunatics have done in schools across the country.

Local schools report more conduct code violations than those in any other district in Florida and many of them involve violence. Those are different than actions resulting from intruders on school campuses, but they still need to be minimized.

Children deserve an education and they also deserve to be safe in school.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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