Armed Guard in Schools is a Bad Idea [Letter]

Hellertown resident Dennis Scholl says he opposes a Saucon Valley School District proposal to spend more than $125,000 on hiring an armed officer as a school security measure.

To the Editor,

I read today ("Saucon Valley to Consider Placing Armed Officer on Campus," The Morning Call, Feb. 13, 2013) that Saucon Valley School District is contemplating the addition of an armed guard at its Polk Valley Road campus. The officer would cost the district $126,000, according to school board member, Ralph Puerta. An additional $3,100 would be required to install a new lock system and surveillance cameras at school entrances. Another $17,000 would be required to install bollards at entrances, to prevent forcible vehicular entry into the schools. These security measures will be considered as the board weighs the 2013-2014 budget. Total expenditure on the three security items is $146,100.

I'd like to go on public record (and I will do so at a school board meeting as well) as being opposed to the presence of an armed guard, not to mention the phenomenal cost in taxpayers' money of $126,000 to hire and maintain one.

I fully understand the reasoning behind the idea, but hope the district can come up with an alternative that a) keeps guns out of the school, no matter who is holstering them, and b) cuts the expenditures back about $100,000. As a taxpayer in the district, I will request to see all the line items that go into the unbelievable hiring cost of one armed guard.

Dennis Scholl


Vida Frankenfield February 21, 2013 at 04:59 PM
I wish I knew what to do, but it will take team effort for this kind of a problem to be resolved. If there are that many kids in school that need counselling then that is a problem in itself. Yes, I agree kids should be monitored but how do we know that that is what is being done. Counselling is a private issue. Do we really know how many kids are getting seen and what for? The answer is no! The only way to eliminate crime within the school, is by scanners that identify what they carry on their person and in their bookbags. This would include the staff as well as anyone else coming into the building.As far as the cooperation from the remainder of the school staff, I sincerely believe they will say, they have their own jobs to do, that does not include counselling the kids, and they do not have the qualifications to care for the kids in that manner, that is why they have counsellors. They need to hire more counsellors if the problem is that bad.What do you think? I cannot think of a better way to eliminate weapons in school. Another suggestion might be lockers getting checked on a regular basis. And Dennis, my feathers are not ruffled as you say, I am giving suggestions like everyone else. Sorry, if I offended you.Please do not make accusations anymore. That sort of thing will ruffle anyone's feathers.
Dennis Scholl February 21, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Vida Frankenfield February 22, 2013 at 03:16 PM
Peace to you too, Dennis and have a good day!
farmrdave March 05, 2013 at 01:23 AM
It is definitely a great expense. Much of this issue may be in how much money the school district can afford to spend? Anyone can see that if a armed guard were in the right place at the right time they may save many children's lives. Another consideration is that knowing there is a armed guard on campus may deter a would-be mass killer. In many cases crimes are prevented because of the foreknowledge of armed persons on the premises. Maybe it is a matter of what is best to spend the money on? Of course sports are a great advantage, but what about limiting games "away", would that help to pay for a armed guard? I am sure that on paper bollards at entrances are a good idea. Have there been any deaths due to lack of bollards?
Vida Frankenfield March 05, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Everyone's opinions on this subject will not help if more is not done for the school to realize just how serious the problem is, and there needs to be a compromise. The way I see it, if we all wait to bring this up to the school district, it might be, God forbid too late. As someone said in the above comments, some of the district's money is going to unnecessary things, that could wait longer. We the parents of these children, need the questions answered NOW! as to what the school will do to keep our kids safe. Whether we like it or not, some police protection is necessary.


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