Due to the recent school shootings we are once again faced with finding solutions to this troubling trend. According to statistics I have read, violent crime is down but we continue to see these high profile shootings in our nation’s schools. The call for solutions has become more urgent as well it should.
Living in the Rhinelander community, we may feel insulated to such things but look around; there have been problems in our area. I confess to being ignorant on what is happening locally or at the state level to address this but I have come to the realization that we need to be proactive and take a good look at this issue and the reality that it could happen here.
I have seen Andrew Pollack on TV, father of Meadow, killed in Parkland, Fla. He has started an organization, Americans for CLASS (americansforclass.org) CLASS stands for children’s lives and school safety.
He has an eight-point plan that makes sense and doesn’t appear to pander to either side of the political spectrum. His suggestions draw on the local community, local resources and volunteers, not waiting for Washington to develop some one-size-fits-all solution that takes years to complete with all the political finger pointing and negativity that goes with it. I believe these shootings are local problems and should be addressed as such.
Years ago my father was a member of the Rhinelander Auxiliary Police or Civil Defense Corps. Whatever it was called at the time, it was a group of volunteers that could be mobilized for local disasters as well as things such as crowd control, directing traffic for parades, etc. The point being, there was a group of citizens that could be relied upon to help in emergency situations. I don’t know if this group still exists but it seems to make sense getting citizens involved in protecting what is ours, in this case, our young people.
To that point, one of Pollack’s suggestions is to develop a school safety volunteer network. Why would you NOT do something like this? It makes perfect sense and I believe there are plenty of us ex-military, retired, and concerned citizens that would be honored to serve the community in such a way. Did I mention guns? No, not for the untrained. Would I stand outside as a perimeter guard in the rain or a 20 below zero morning willing to confront a threat? You bet I would! I’m sure others would, too.
I would like to suggest through this letter that our local law enforcement start a list of those that would like to volunteer, pass a background check and receive some training to assist in the safety of our schools. I’m sure someone will bring up liability issues and other reasons why we can’t, but like anything else, if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. So sign me up! It’s possible to have plan in place before the start of the school year.
Scott Sorley, Gleason/Rhinelander School District