For safety’s sake, support school bonds, levy Feb. 11

The OlympianFebruary 2, 2014 

There are many good reasons to support the bond and levy measures on the Feb. 11 special-election ballot. None of them is more important than the safety of our students.

No parent should have to worry about their children at school, and Thurston County public schools are safe. But the rise of deadly shootings at schools across the nation is a reminder that tragedy can strike anywhere and apparently without warning.

The arrest of a 14-year-old Tumwater boy for allegedly threatening to shoot students at Black Hills High School brings that message close to home. No community is immune.

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza is supporting the North Thurston and Tumwater school district bond measures on the Feb. 11 special-election ballot because both plan to use portions of the funds they would raise to improve the security of their schools.

After the senseless massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, Snaza met with school superintendents to offer suggestions about improving security and to explain how his department would respond with an active shooter in a local school.

North Thurston School District plans to use some of the bond money to install panic alarms and automatic door locks on school classrooms. It would create secure entry points to schools, and other safety measures.

The Tumwater School District ballot measure also specifies expenditures for building security and student safety.

In a perfect world, parents, schoolteachers and law enforcement wouldn’t have to think about someone shooting innocent children. But we do, and no cost is too great when the lives of our children are at stake.

North Thurston and Tumwater voters should approve the Feb. 11 bond measures, if for no other reason than keeping our kids safe.

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