I am a recently retired high school teacher, and I have an idea as to how our schools might be hardened in a win-win scenario.
It is no secret that some of our beloved military veterans have difficulty transitioning out of the military to civilian life. Why not have a Protect Our Schools force that consists of transitioning military personnel? The pay rate could be the same as when these young men and women were in the Armed Services for the first year of service.
The duration could be a one-year term, or several, or indefinite. The great young patriots could be emissaries for both our military and our law enforcement. The assignment to protect a school could end with employment as a local police officer or deputy in the community in which the school is located, or else it could end with permanent employment at the school as a Campus Protection Officer.
This type of program could solve multiple problems. Law enforcement is having difficulty with staffing due to retirements and recruiting because our government has failed to promote respect for law enforcement officers. Schools are vulnerable, and most teachers do not want to be armed while teaching, or to have weapons under lock and key in their classroom. The risk that the weapon could fall into the hands of a curious or disgruntled student is too high. Vets could transition from employment in the protection of our country to employment in the protection of our local communities.
This would require cooperation from the military, from local law enforcement, and from school districts. Salaries could be paid for a year from the US military budget, and in years two and beyond, from county or city budgets for the Deputy or Police Officer transition, or from the school district for permanent status as Campus Protection Officer.
By Jennifer Mitchell Towner
Jennifer Mitchell Towner worked in the computer industry from 1979 to 1998. Under a program called Encorps, she became a high school math, French, and Consumer Finance teacher in 2009, retiring in 2019. She holds two BAs from U.C. Berkeley in Math and French and an MBA from Stanford University. The books she published in 2021, Good Boots and Kipper the Nipper are on Amazon.
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Sgt. William Hill, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons