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Posted on Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 5:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor schools need police liaison officers

By Guest Column

On June 13, the Ann Arbor Board of Education passed a budget that eliminated funding for the police officers who work directly in the schools.

I understand the school budget is currently in a mess and will remain that way for years. However, there are considerations that are above and beyond the immediate finances of the district. For example:

1) At a recent Skyline High School after-school activity, a citizen showed up wearing a gun in a holster at his side. The school police officer took the individual aside and asked why he was wearing a gun. He replied, "Because I can." As it turns out, he is right. There is no law restricting licensed gun owners from carrying a weapon to school as long as it is not concealed. And the Board of Education wants to eliminate armed school police officers from the schools?


The presence of police liaison officers make our schools better, safer, calmer places for adults and students.

Timthephotoguy |

2) Legislation is moving through the state Legislature that would eliminate all restrictions on carrying concealed weapons. This means licensed gun owners could carry a concealed weapon into any school building, any sporting event, any concert, or any other school activity. And the Board of Education has decided to eliminate armed school police officers from the school?

3) Every year, in all of our high schools, there are students in crisis. Those crises include students who threaten suicide, relate stories of criminal sexual assault, and report physical threats and abuse. And the Board of Education wants to eliminate a trained professional first responder who is there and ready to help from the school buildings?

I was a teacher in Ann Arbor Schools for some 30 years. Most of those years were in high school but also some of them were in middle school. I know first hand the role these officers play in the every day world of the public schools. I know the role an officer played when a parent armed with a knife showed up at school to confront a student wrongly accused of sexual abuse.

I have seen officers talk with students who are in crises and have seen the officers help those students reach a safe place. I have seen the officers quietly keep the peace at a local basketball game. I have seen officers move through the halls providing a role model, an adult for a student to personally connect with, and quickly and calmly bringing peace to potentially dangerous situations.

I recently talked with the officer at Huron and was very impressed with his attitude toward his job. He sees his role as being one who is there to teach, to provide assistance, and to help make Huron a safe place for all teachers and students. These officers work not only in the high school they are assigned to, but they also work with both the elementary and middle schools that feed their high school. Their presence make all of our schools better, safer, calmer places for adults and students. And the Board of Education wants to remove these adults from the lives of our children?

Once these officers are eliminated from our schools, who will respond when there is a gun situation? When a gang fight is about to break out outside of school? When drug dealers set up shop in the parking lots? When a student needs to report a rape? Or when a student simply wants to talk to an officer?

Please, do not let these valued individuals be removed from our schools.

Rich Ballard is an Ann Arbor resident who taught for more than 40 years at all grade levels, including more than 30 years in Ann Arbor schools. He has taught everything from pre-school to graduate classes at the University of Michigan School of Education.



Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Many seem to demonstrate the same problem Chicago is facing. As parents, we have lost control of our kids and have assigned or demanded that society, or local law enforcement handle any and all issues. I recall teachers mentoring us in school. Not counselors, teachers. I have many fond memories of the differing ideas and opinions given by these excellent leaders and mentors. We have lost our way. We have definitely lost many of our kids. Unless we realize that we are not in control of leading the development of our kids, we will continue to face these same issues. No need for cops in schools. I vote for parental control and unwavering support of school teachers to affirm this control.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 10:51 p.m.

ban guns in school


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Interesting! I am about the same age, yet our high school never had a full time cop on duty. We had the usual fight - girls and boys. We had the usual ruckus, but never do I recall that the male staff couldn't handle any and all issues. Why do Michigan schools need police on duty? Is there a hidden problem here? The threat of gang fights needs to be addressed by the community and the local law enforcement, not just a single police person on site.


Thu, Jun 21, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Do you know how quickly a male staff would probably get sued if they tried to "handle a situation"? I think part of the reason there are police liaisons is for CYA reasons, however, for this, i don't blame the school a bit.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

After reading Mr. Ballard's comments, I feel quite frightened at removing police from our schools. In fact, I won't feel safe again until we surround the schools with razor ribbon and post circling unmanned drones with air-to-surface missiles hovering within range of the campuses. Who knew what hellholes Ann Arbor schools have become?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

Lot's of good things can be accomplished......with money to pay for them. Everybody wants the best but who pays for the best? Is Mr. Ballard willing to give up 10 or 15% oif his lucrative public pension to help pay the bills? How about contributing a higher deductable on his lifetime medical benefits? Maybe a lifetime cap on those benefits? Where's the money going to coming from? Another millage to tap into the already struggling private sector to pay for "the best" in the public sector?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Interesting how easy it is to manipulate the public. All that's needed is to emphasize the cost of a public service and connect that cost to the individual - who then immediately reacts against putting their own money up for a needed service. It's sad that putting a cop in every school costs what it does. But considering the benefit, maybe it's not that expensive. Maybe... we should just face up to the necessity of paying for what we get(?). And while we're at it, we might want to rethink the (carefully planted) idea that we're all individuals who should only have our own self-interest in mind at all times. Maybe benefitting the community *does* ultimately benefit the individuals in that community. Maybe "high taxes" are really just the cost of having a civilization and ensuring its future. OR- maybe: building and maintaining a civilization involves even more personalized service and commitment. Raising our kids with sound principles might just be the rebuttal to needing a "nanny cop" in every school. I went to a good school where, once a month, about 30 of us students brought our own or our fathers' high powered rifles to school in the morning and, after school, we took our rifles and ammunition (under supervision) to the gun range to practice safe handling and use of those guns. No nanny cops were present or needed through those entire days, there never was an incident involving any gun-totting student. What DID result was about 30 young men who were *more* cognizant of their responsibility and accountability and of the absolute necessity to respect the lives and safety of everyone. But of course, those were the days when parents took their own responsibilities to raise civilized kids very seriously. There were expectations imposed on individuals; the pride of being "American" meant the obligation to maintain the standards of American Civilization was paramount and weighed equally on all of us.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:30 p.m.

I was a student at Huron and graduated in 2003. Our school liaison officer was a joke, and I never quite understood what his purpose was. It seemed to me that he stayed busy chasing after smokers in the woods and illegally parked cars in the senior lot. Maybe there was other things he did, but I never saw it. Also, as the poster above stated, the salary these three officers were making was absurd. Talk about a cupcake job as a police officer.

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

Adam, apparently you weren't the kind of kid who needed to know what he was doing. I'm sure there were several kids at your school who had the necessity of interaction with him.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

We did laugh about ours some 32 years ago, but he did do his job. He kept the law and order. Helped out teachers who needed it. I am so glad we have 3 years left. Not sure if you will see our next generation there or not.

David Cahill

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

The School Board has said that liaison officers in the schools are not a high priority, and the Board is in charge of making such decisions. But the fact that police will not be in the high schools full time does not mean that students and faculty are without police protection. If there is a problem requiring police intervention, the school should just call the police, like the rest of us.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

Um, what is the logic and point of this opinion piece?? The first two points dwell (obsessively, it seems) on legitimate incidents wherein citizens either do are are permitted by law to - carry pistols onto school grounds. What's the problem(?!) with incidents, which by definition, any police officer could do nothing about? If it's legal, then there's no need for police involvement and therefore no need for police presence. Yet the premise of this essay begins with a statement implying that funding police presence on school grounds is a top priority. And lets be accurate; the bill mentioned isn't about allowing pistol carrying on school grounds, it's about eliminating "gun free zones" which have proven to be impractical to follow (because the zones are all invisible!) and /or enforce (because there are legitimate exceptions already in the existing law and because concealed pistols can't be detected in the first place!). I believe maintaining a police presence in schools is a positive thing, but for other valid (logical) reasons than the ones put forth here. Usually, the officers selected for duty at our schools are adept at establishing a positive connection with our kids. An old (simple) principle says: Getting off on the right foot is important. That certainly applies and is a positive reason for keeping police on duty in our schools.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Why is there no mention of the huge drug problem in Ann Arbor schools? When there are discussions of an achievement gap, why not go for the low hanging fruit and stop druggin the underachievers? Everyday you can witness the procession of students leaving high school marching to the woods to partake of illegal drugs in the midst of the school day.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Well said Mr. Ballard. At the very least the board could have looked into splitting the cost of the officers with the AAPD, and I doubt they even did that. That said, it's important that those who disagree with this cut voice those opinions to the school board and superintendent. A single email is all it takes, and they only change budget decisions when parents are in an uproar.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

Anyone who would openly wear a gun to a public school event is trying to provoke, and in my opinion is a loser. How well trained does that person think he is? Is he as well trained in the protection and use of that firearm as a police officer? Not likely. The moral and legal responsibility of bringing a deadly weapon anywhere, let alone a school event, is so grave that I agree the law needs to be reviewed. In many ways they have it wrong, the fact that it is openly carried, I feel, is more provocative than if it was concealed. But you can see the reasoning, that observant officer did their duty and (I assume) checked on the validity of the holders license, and probably questioned the holder as to the wisdom and necessity of their actions. I am not a big fan of the police in the schools, there is enough discipline in the daily routine, but from what I understand they serve a purpose. I am sure that somewhere in that budget there is a better place to make a cut. Note to all the gun nuts out there, I am a CPL holder, and life long supporter of gun rights, who would never open carry to a public event. In fact, I earned my CPL because when I moved to a new house it was across the street from a school; and owning, handling or storing a weapon in my house, without a state issued license, would have placed me in violation of federal gun free school zone laws. Open carry at a school, "because you can", is not helping the cause.

Unusual Suspect

Sat, Jun 23, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

"Anyone who would openly wear a gun to a public school event is trying to provoke, and in my opinion is a loser." Or he's trying to defend himself and is just a regular citizen. Stop with the irrational fear of guns. I could respect a healthy a fear of dangerous people, though.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 4 p.m.

So DJ, Would you have a problem with someone protesting something in the middle of UM's campus just because they're trying to provoke a response out of people? In essence he was likely just protesting the public's ignorance on the open-carry topic. He was not only using his freedom of speech but his right to bear arms as well. Just because it was provocative does not mean it was criminal, wrong and should be made illegal. Otherwise you could say that any protest should be illegal just because it goes against social norms. By your same logic I could ask what is the need for anyone to own a gun? If you don't see the need for someone protecting themselves in public, what's the need for a concealed permit? What's the point of having one at home? Unless you're a hunter I guess you don't even need a gun and they should all be banned. The need to have a gun on school property is the same need to have a gun sitting in the night stand by your bed. Just because you're on school grounds doesn't mean a criminal won't rob you there. In fact, if they know that no one can be armed on school property - even more incentive to commit crimes there. The only reason there is fear of open carry to begin with is because people stopped doing it. Once they stopped doing it the general public stopped seeing it as normal. Now when someone does it they see them as provoking something or a criminal. But making it illegal because you find it odd is silly to me; especially since you hide a gun in your coat pocket or belt. There's a reason you see a cop with a firearm out and think nothing of it - but a citizen who isn't a cop does it and it is provoking or dangerous? See the conflict there? BTW, what you said about owning a firearm on your own property without a permit is 100% false. For the same reason you can open carry on school grounds you can own a firearm on your own property.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

You two are putting a lot of words in my mouth. If you don't think there is a danger to bringing a deadly weapon anywhere you are mistaken. I am trying to make it through your quote fest to know where to begin. First of all, don't lecture me on how much I do or don't know about firearms training and the law. I am entitled to my opinion about the law. I have been a shooter and life member of the NRA since I was 10 years old, so that is 37 years. I attended military small arms firing school. I was the national junior high power rifle champion when I was 19, and my U of M ROTC small bore rifle team won the Big Ten championship my junior and senior years. I attended Front Sight Firearms Training before it went mainstream. I am confident that I can carry and control a deadly weapon, and I still would never consider bringing a gun to a school function. I am no skeptic, I am a realist, and the fact of the matter is, an openly carried firearm, by law enforcement or civilian, is disturbing to many. And it is not the law that I find a source of provocation, it is that individuals decision in how to exercise their rights under the law. What was the need for a gun in that situation, if not to assert a position on gun rights? The assumption that the open carry advocate is the safest person with a gun is just that, an assumption. It might be true, and it might not. If you have attended a CPL class lately you will see how little it takes to become a CPL holder. Of the 12 people in my last class I would be fearful of 8 of them owning and carrying firearms. Open carry does little to lessen the fear that many people have about guns, the fact that the article starts with that example, as the first reason to keep law enforcement in the schools, should be proof enough.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

Times are changing: there are training organizations which already train "civilians" at and above "police standards" (which, believe me, aren't terrific to begin with). Furthermore, police officers attend these same courses (around the country) to IMPROVE their ability to handle handguns. Contact Front Sight Firearms Training Institute if you don't believe me, they have a standing offer of free pistol courses to "skeptics" like yourself. Drawing erroneous conclusions from nominally "true" statements is a common hazard for logicians, as when you first bring up the "gravity" of carrying one's self-defense handgun to a school event, then "assert" that the law needs to be reviewed. Fact: that law (after years of being in effect) HAS been reviewed and the restrictions (which you favor) have been conclusively proven to be ineffective and unenforceable, as well as having caused wrongful prosecution of innocent people. Times are changing: try staying more informed and try keeping up with the topics you're commenting on. Thanks.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

The open carry law, or lack there of one, is not on the books because it is or isn't more "provocative". The concealed carry law is in existence because it was determined some time ago that concealing a firearm was more dangerous to the population that openly carrying it where everyone could see it. Both were legal at one point without certification. Concealment became illegal without a permit and not the other way around. Let's be honest, a guy with a firearm openly out, while purposely trying to poke the bees nest, is probably the least dangerous guy carrying a firearm. A criminal is unlikely going to be walking around with a gun attempting to draw attention.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

With the principal of Pioneer leaving and now not having liaison officers, I hope the Board thinks long and hard about who they hire as the new principal. Their recent track record in hiring is abysmal and I hope it doesn't become a "political" hiring.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

I would rather see these officers out of the schools and on the streets protecting *all* of us.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Though I think its a wreckless decision at best to remove the officers from the schools I believe their pay was excessive (along with many others on AAPS payroll). The previous shared budget equated that these officers were making about 118k a year, that's approximately 3-4 times of our local city officer and 2-3 times more than our county deputies and lieutanants, that's absurd to me. Nonetheless as we all know the AAPS budget needs to be cut from the TOP from the SI on down! Its very disheartening to see them repeatedly take from children and families, lowering the quality of the once prized A2 education system as the higher ups feel no effects on the cuts. I agree something bad could be more likely to happen, especially at something like a sporting event where higher concentrations of the student body gather. The police officer was always the last person we wanted contact with when I was in school!

Lac Court Orilles

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

If you are upset with police liaison officers being cut out of the Ann Arbor School budget, don't blame the school board contact the persons who are responsible for it: Representative Mark Ouimet, Senator Randy Richardville, and Governor Rick Snyder.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Actually not. The BOE and Balais are to blame because they refuse to cut costs where it needs to be cut most. This is going to be a big blow up if something happens. Big mistake BOE. Close Clemente and the busing and send all to Stone. IMO

Do not vote for Conan!

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

I work with the many youth who are on the wrong path and the Officer is our biggest supporter and resource person. This is a shame, I agree with others cut at the top keep the Officer.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

I completely agree with you, and i love your name!


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

While I agree that a police officer in the school system is a great thing to have (Dexter had one when I went there way back when) but I really don't get the connection you're trying to make with police officers and licences gun owners. In response to your points #1 and #2: it's not the licensed owners you should be worried about. You have to be 21 years old to apply for and receive a concealed pistol permit in the state of Michigan. This is not going to create a way for kids to sneak guns into the classroom. Kids still wouldn't legally be able to purchase or possess guns on school property (or really anywhere) concealed. There is this weird train of thought that exists today, especially in the school system, where someone with a gun is instantly thought of as a criminal. IMO most of the article above is just a cheap shot at gun legislation rather than addressing the real issue of cops being taken away from schools. There are safety concerns that teachers just can't handle. Very true - and a great argument for police officers in the school. But licensed gun owners have little to do with that. School shootings happen with guns the kids have stolen from their parents, friends or worse they've bought off some random person (illegally) on Craig's list. They happen with guns they're illegally possessing and concealing. They don't happen because conceal carry permit holder, let's call him Jim, picks his son up from school while he's carrying a firearm. The real question is why do you hold a cop, a concealed firearm licencee themselves, at a different standard than any other concealed licence holder? Both have to have basically no criminal record in order to obtain the permit. The cop could just as easily "snap" and go on some rampage. And if it is the cop, they're even wearing body armor to boot. If anything you should be more afraid of the cop for the reasons you listed above than any other licencee. FYI, I am not a "gun nut". I just don't get the con


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

It was supposed to say "connection to gun legislation" at the end but I rambled too much and it cut it off.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:06 p.m.

I am a strong 2nd amendment supporter, but the guy that showed up at a school function with a gun in plain view "because he can" is a bully and an intimidator. He does not represent me. He should've been arrested for brandishing, even if the charges don't stick. It was totally inappropriate. That being said, there is a definite anti-gun bias to this article and gun owners are being scapegoated, which distracts from the real danger. You probably don't need to be worried about a grown man or woman with a CPL; you need to be worried about a disturbed student/individual, who doesn't qualify for a CPL anyway and surely won't ask permission from the state to carry one into a building. We definitely need liason officers in the schools. It's a no-brainer.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 5:20 p.m.

Completely legal and incredibly stupid. I'd feel the same way if he legally showed up with a sword, running chain saw or any other dangerous and totally out of place item, so it's a mistake to think it's only about firearms. I'm not sure about the need of liason officers, but items #1 and #2 above are weak justifications for all the reasons already mentioned.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

"Brandishing" means you're waving the gun around or pointing it at people without cause. He had it holstered at his side (much like a cop does). So unless you want to say that we should arrest every cop out there for brandishing their weapon - I don't think the guy that showed up should either. You're right, it was probably inappropriate for him to do it the way he did. But your statement above about arresting him is a great example of us slowly becoming more strict on firearms. You're saying he should get arrested for something that is completely legal just because it involves a firearm.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

I 2nd this, we definitely need liaison officers in the schools. We need to keep guns out of schools. Unfortunately the baddies who shoot up schools NEVER have a CPL. Not one case. It's not the responsible law-abiding gun owners you need to worry about, it's the kid who's getting bullied and brings one in his backpack that causes problems. Always remember: When you need help NOW, police are only minutes away!

Nick Danger

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

The school boards decision to cut police officers at the 3 comprehensive high schools shows just how out of touch the board is.Safety is a primary concern of any large high school and these officers do an amazing job of keeping our schools safe.They not only service the high school but are on call for the entire district.If the board would have consulted with teachers and administrators who actually work in the buildings they may have reached a different conclusion.I would encourage the school board to rethink this decision


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

Agree with Mr. Ballard. I say cut expenses at the top - superintendent and her group, keep the cop. They perform many duties which are most helpful to all students. Just their presence and friendship might be enough. And, of course, when duty calls they are "johnny on the spot." keep them there.

Madeleine Borthwick

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

Carole, I too agree with you and Mr. Ballard. Unfortunately, the superintendent and her minions have their own agenda, and it has not ONE THING to do with the kids, or their safety. we need a new superintendent! as an employee of the A2 public schools (I'm a noon-hour supervisor), I realize I'm sticking my neck out, but frankly I am beyond tired of those of us who are expected to meekly submit to this. So--the devil can take the hindmost. I stand by what I've said.

Momma G

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Very well written and I agree fully. Ann Arbor will wake up when there is a mass shooting or a suicide that takes place on it's premises. Why not have the administrators at Balas take a nice pay cut like everyone else has i.e. the superintendent? It really makes sense that the citizens voted for a tech bond but they allow this sort of decision making to take place.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

It's been awhile since I was in High School. When did police officers enter into the school systems? Are they in every school in the district on a part time basis? Will there be any security (contracted) to replace at least some of these officers?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

OMG! I remember the officer who did Pioneer from 77 to mid 80's. He was a real hoot. But yes, to answer the question they came in sometime in the early 70s to keep the peace. This was in response I believe to the Kent State incident and making sure everything was calm.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

My uncle went to A2 high school in the late 60's early 70's and there was an officer there...

Do not vote for Conan!

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Officers have been at Huron and Pioneer since the 70's


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

There have been liaison officers at Pioneer and Huron since the early 80's.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

No one should be allowed in a school with a gun. The law should be changed. As to the budget, the school board and the administration made this mess, we are going to have to live with it. No administration (1 dollar in 8 of spending by AAPS) cuts were made. The cuts come to teachers, busing and policing - all areas that impact students. If you are watching the game that Mr. Allen and the board is playing you too can bet that in November they will start the drum for another millage to "fix" these issues, while quietly giving raises to the administration. They are as bad or worse than any for profit company. While I don't want to see the police officers go, it is another piece in the "WE NEED MORE MONEY" campaign coming to a school board meeting, with careful engineering Mr. Allan and the school board is creating a situation where voters will give them more money. When they do, most of the that money is already allocated, based on promises the board has made. So, don't expect the school police officers will return, even if you vote for more millage. No administrator was harmed in the making of the 2012-2013 AAPS budget.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

"No one should be allowed in a school with a gun."---(1) So, just how would you propose that be prevented? (2) Concealed handguns are, by definition, invisible. So your assertion is unenforceable. (3) And what about those who don't care about your proposed rule and are bent on causing harm to the unarmed inhabitants of schools? Just spouting an unfounded opinion isn't going to stop them: lets be clear about that. "The law should be changed. " --- Changed? How? The law is one you haven't even read, let alone learned the history of. Current law: prohibits the carrying of a firearm within 1000 feet of schools. But the 1000 foot zones are not posted and are invisible to those traversing school neighborhoods. On top of that, it's impossible to detect firearms which are adequately concealed, so the law is unenforceable. Therefore: the law IS going to be changed: allowing concealed pistol licensees to carry near or in schools (among other places). And licensed parents who are delivering their kids to school have been exempt for years - without a single incident!! Since these licensees have been background checked by experts and have passed training courses there's virtually no chance they'll harm anyone. The State Police track licensees and their published figures show that 325,000 licensees have a far safer, more law-abiding record than non-licensees. So defend yourself, since your group is the one doing the most crimes by far and because your "policies" would open the door to more Columbine-type massacres. (Not to mention that they'd also abrogate our inalienable right to defend ourselves.) In light of your initial (flimsy) claims and assertions, what are readers to think of your subsequent remarks about the A2 school budget and the district's administrators? It seems likely they are as ill-founded and as poorly researched as your first statements.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

So should officers not be allowed in school buildings with their firearms?


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

Agree - no administrator has taken a cut--instead many had their salary increased because the new superintendent hired yet a new administrator at a "huge salary" -- I will always take my hat off to Dr. Roberts, former superintendent, who when the milleage was not passed a few years back, took an immediate 10% cut in salary. He also was great about visiting the schools -- thanked him kindly when he carried a basket full of balls outdoors when he visited our school during lunch time. A real hands on individual. Haven't seen hind or hair of the new one.


Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 11:24 a.m.

I couldn't agree more. The Liaison officer served so many positive roles and their presence will be sadly missed. Upon the request of the principal and on a needs basis the officers interact with students at all levels . Sometimes their interaction at elementary school can include a quick game of soccer on the play ground where students learn this is not a person to be feared but a potential friend. Middle school interactions can include a serious discussion about choice with individual students or being part of an all school program. As a former teacher I was saddened to see this cut. In my opinion the money that was restored to the budget for counselors would have been better spent on the police officers. They are truly involves with our students in a positive way.

tom swift jr.

Wed, Jun 20, 2012 : 10:52 a.m.

Very well written, Mr. Ballard. I agree.