Let’s keep children safe

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Ideas.

Some days, they flow freely.

Other days, they’re jumbled into pieces like a jigsaw puzzle.

You try to find the corner pieces and work your way inside.

It’s a myriad of confusion, especially this week.

Where to start?

The shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has weighed heavily on the country’s heart this week. An armed 18-year-old entered an unlocked door and committed a senseless act that took the lives of 21 people, including 19 innocent children.

This was the 27th American school shooting in 2022 and the deadliest since the Sandy Hook (Connecticut) Elementary incident that took 27 lives in 2012.

In all, there have been 213 mass shootings in the US this year.

Enough is enough.

I don’t know what to do to stop it.

I’m not sure anyone does.

Children are our future and we must find a way to provide a safe environment for them.
Thankfully, local law enforcement has accepted the challenge.

Wayne County Sheriff Larry Pierce and Goldsboro Police Captain Mike West said in a joint statement last week that there will be “an increased presence of uniformed officers in and around our local schools. The safety of the students and staff is a priority to us.”

Any threat should not be taken lightly.

Off-hand comments or fake messaging by students on social media ought to be monitored more closely. Whoever makes the statement should face disciplinary action or serious criminal charges.

Front doors are locked at our county schools.

You can’t enter until properly identified.

I hope that Wayne County Public Schools officials will discuss upcoming graduations, which usually have large crowds. I wouldn’t be surprised to see additional security at each venue.

“While we hope our schools are never faced with a school shooting, having law enforcement personnel on our campuses who are trained to respond to active shooters will be critical in helping deter or prevent a threat from being carried out,” Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Lewis said in that same joint statement.

I hope he’s right.

As I said before, our kids are our future.

Let’s work to keep them safe.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.

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