One reason Carmel ranks so high nationally on livability scales is that we, as a community, spend money on things that need money spent. One can argue about carousels and roundabouts, but the fact is we have the tax base and employment to fund quality education, infrastructure maintenance, to keep our city running smoothly, and to be prepared for new issues yet to come. The subject of school safety is certainly not new, but we have not yet dealt effectively with it. The referendum in November gives us an opportunity to address that.
Not surprisingly, there will be some residents who oppose the program as a reflex against anyone raising their taxes for any purpose whatsoever. To this small percentage, I say welcome to the 21st century, where schools across the country getting shot up by someone with an automatic weapon has become a weekly occurrence. I have a cousin whose sons were at Columbine High School in Colorado back in the day, and she suggests the Littleton community has never quite recovered. Carmel Clay schools – well-managed, conscientious, effective places of learning – are exactly the type of place that attracts the active shooter.
The November referendum is not about guns or mental health or any of the many issues surrounding violence in our schools. It is about taking active steps to prevent such a tragedy from occurring in our community and making the jobs of those hired to do so better. If we are going to entrust our children’s daily welfare to teachers and school resource officers we need to try to hire the best possible people. With a median cost per family of $5 per month, opposition to the ballot question cannot be about money.
Someone is bound to raise the argument that bolstering the SRO program in our schools is no guarantee against some kind of attack, which is true. However, if the day arrives when it is our friends and neighbors on TV in hysterics, trying to locate their children, we as a community need to be able to say, if nothing else, that we did what we could to keep our schools safe. The alternative is obscene and unacceptable.
Bruce Allen, Carmel