May 20, 2024

Train teachers as police

The BDN’s “Safe at School” editorial on Nov. 13 expounds upon relevant points and inspires the onus to be placed upon all public schools in Maine for the implementation of protective measures to guard against any scenarios with deadly consequences as a possible result.

While recognizing that various protocols (i.e. cameras, posted staff, etc.) may improve reactions to emergencies, the greater solution lies with the expansive protective umbrella available to all schools willing to participate in its implementation.

I have consistently proposed that every school select one or two educators to be enrolled in the 100-hour police reserve training course and become trained as a reserve police officer. The resulting certifications would enable these individuals to carry concealed firearms with them and have instantly verifiable identification to display (i.e. neck pendants) in the event of police entering the building while answering a crisis call.

Only the school principal, superintendent, and the head of the school board would know the identification of these individuals.

Training costs would be borne by individual school districts, with the anticipation of at least a five-year service by the individuals involved. Failure to complete a five-year service would obligate reimbursement by those leaving prematurely.

Implementing this program would provide a “built-in,” immediately accessible, professionally trained, and student-geared cadre, which would be available to address critical situations while additional support units are being summoned.

While no series of vulnerabilities or horrors can be guarded against in an absolute manner, this proposal would offer schools a viable option to prepare for situations in the most unthinkable of scenarios.

Ken Fogelman


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