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Is it time to hire armed guards for our local schools?

After the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., parents with children attending our public schools are cautious, if not downright petrified. While we would like to think that the shooting of 20 6- and 7-year-old children was a random act of a mad man, we need to review our options here in the Brainerd School District 181.

Discussions around the community vary from “It’ll never happen here,” to “What if it happens here?”

There have been a number of possible solutions, remedies and precautions tossed around as to what the district should or could do in an effort to avoid a repeat of what happened in Newtown.

Perhaps one of the most logical, and perhaps the most beneficial to society, would be to hire returning veterans from tours in Afghanistan or Iraq. Sure, they would have to be given an extensive psychological evaluation, and qualify to handle children from pre-school through high school. However, they certainly have the training. Veterans would also be able to find employment in something in which they have been trained.

Hiring veterans to fill positions that would need to be funded either by local taxpayers or the state or federal government might be a hard sell, in light of the fiscal cliff our federal government is facing and the billion dollar deficit our state is facing in the next biennium.

Someone asked if I’d be willing to cough up the local dollars to protect our community’s children. You bet. Even though we have no school-age children, seeing the sadness and sorrow each of the Newtown parents is facing following that day of terror, it would be a small price to pay.

I would rather ante up a few more tax dollars to know the children are not going to have to stare down the barrel of a gun-wielding mentally deranged person.

Most veterans find it difficult to obtain employment upon returning from a tour of duty. Many have not experienced combat but have been trained in combating all sorts of attacks in all types of settings. If our children are as important to us as the children of Newtown were to their grieving families, we, as a community must consider options beyond those which are currently in place within District 181.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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