GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

January 18, 2013

Letter: Join petition push for officers in city schools

To the editor:

On Wednesday, President Obama held a press conference in which he revealed 23 proposed executive orders regarding gun control.

The 18th proposal is: “Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.”

In proposing this, President Obama agrees with the call by the NRA to do so, as well as the advice of NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers, an organization that trains police officers as to how to work within a school to best protect children. This proposal also allows for funding incentives, such as federal tax breaks, for communities that wish to install police officers in schools.

It is gratifying and remarkable that both sides of the political spectrum agree on the need to protect children in schools, and the appropriate measure by which to do so. Currently, in Gloucester, there is a petition circulating which reads the following:

“Tragic school shootings demonstrate the need for communities to take action to protect our children and teachers. As such, we, the citizens of Gloucester, petition our mayor, City Council, and School Committee, as appropriate, to enact the Protect Children Act in Gloucester, to allocate funds to the Gloucester Police Department to allow for armed police officer(s) in each of Gloucester’s public schools during each school day, for the entirety of the school year, to protect our children and teachers from any threat to their safety.”

In the six days, that the petition has been circulating, it is growing in numbers of support each day. Gloucester citizens, eager to protect children, want our leadership to act immediately to do so. The City Council, School Committee, and mayor can choose to put this matter to a public hearing and vote at any time. Unfortunately, they have so far refused to do so.

If you agree with President Obama on the need for police in schools as school resource officers, please contact me at akesterson@orlandoassociates.com to be included on the petition to Gloucester politicians.

AMANDA O. KESTERSON

Gloucester

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