Mar 242018
 

Photo by Cristie Guevara via publicdomainpictures.net

Guest Column by John Donnelly……

Developing “pilot programs” whose objectives are student safety and secure schools has become a national priority.

Creating criterion for hiring a School Marshal/Security Officer, which screens candidates to insure that they’re physically fit, psychologically stable, certified marksmen with a pistol and rifle and free from any criminal misconduct is an essential beginning.

Critical to the success of this “pilot program” will be the fact that every potential Marshal/Officer will eventually be required to handle a K-9 (working dog) during the performance of their duties at school.

So here we have it. A statuesque and well trained professional with a large German Sheppard, armed with a pistol and rifle; securing all access, egress and points of vulnerability on campus, as established by a “risk assessment”.

Video’s of this “Marine Type Sentry” and “Scout Dog” protecting our children will be published online and in all our media outlets. Providing reassurance to parents, grandparents and family members that their children are indeed important to those charged with their care.

Volunteers and funding supporting this safety program will skyrocket, as citizens visualize its promise and potential.

Once this extraordinary “pilot program” is set in motion, a template upon which others can be expeditiously introduced at all schools will have been established.

The “operational imperative” upon which all education is substantiated, is firmly founded upon “Student Safety First”.

The present status and purpose of the “School Resource Officer” must be re-evaluated and re-defined. Characteristics identified in the criterion for School Marshal/Security Officer must be taken into consideration when selecting and assigning a “Resource Officer” to a particular school.

Parents and relatives from every walk of life have contacted me expressing their legitimate fears; regarding unsafe classrooms, unsecured schools and violent classmates in their son’s and daughter’s classroom.

A societal “tipping point” has been reached that will not correct itself without bold action, a response not normally expected from educators. However, if we’re indeed the “educators and leaders” we purport to be, we must responsibly acknowledge the threats facing our children.

Suitable candidates ready to staff positions necessary to protect our school children, eagerly await a “call to duty”.

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John Donnelly
John Donnelly, a resident of Key Largo was born, raised and went to high school in the South Bronx. Upon graduation he was awarded several scholarships to college. He chose to enlist in the United Sates Marine Corps. While serving in Vietnam John was wounded in action. He received two meritorious promotions, one during combat. Upon discharge and return to America, John had a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. He found himself homeless for the next 4 years. As he worked out some troublesome concerns, he began to yearn to make some sense of his experiences via education. He sought and received his GI Bill benefits. He later graduated frpm the University of Miami on the President’s Honor Roll. While working at a Maximum Security Prison Facility for criminally insane adolescents, he earned a Master of Science degree from Florida International University.
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More Articles by John Donnelly prior to November, 2014.
 March 24, 2018  Posted by at 2:57 pm ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #261, John Donnelly  Add comments

  15 Responses to “Student Safety & Secure Schools”

  1. John, you do so much already.

    But I must ask, what would it take to get YOU interested in being the Platonic ideal of a person who would protect our kids? I cannot imagine anyone better than you……

  2. Rick,

    Your loving words, encouragement and kind thoughts have provided me with the strength and motivation to continue to write. Expressing myself via the Theater, Exposés and Essays has brought some healing and comfort to a torn soul.

    Language, syntax and vocabulary expansion were not a premium in the South Bronx, Marine Corps and Southeast Asia. Teachers, Professors and Good People like yourself knew that writing and theater could bridge the gap and make a way for some Light to come into my life. The God of my understanding, and so many other very Beautiful People, did the heavy lifting for me; Resurrecting a beaten and broken man.

    Any “Platonic Characteristics” I may possess were melded in the abyss, manifesting in a grateful heart that was spared the just desserts of living an ignorant existence. I have empathy and compassion for the suffering of others. For when I lose sight of the perils endured by my Brothers & Sisters, I’m abruptly reminded from whence I came. And of all the patience, understanding and mercy that were necessary to pull me through.

    My darkest days were not killing enemy soldiers, while they attempted to kill me. They were as a new Teacher attempting to regain my humanity, while proving my worth and value to society, in a troubled classroom at a public school.

    Having finally assimilated back into civilian life via acceptance into New York University, President’s Honor Roll Graduation from the University of Miami and securing a Master of Science degree with the highest grade point average in my class; I was drawn to Teach Disabled & Handicapped Children & Adults. I think I wanted to put some of the goodness that was shown me, back into the world in some small way.

    During my first year as a Teacher at a public school I was told by the principal, after he came up to me while on duty in-between classes, that he had a dream about me the night before. I knew this was not going to be good, anyways I giggled, braced myself and said oh yeah, “what was it about”. He said: “I dreamt you were in a wheelchair on top of a mountain, and I pushed you off”……..

    As much as that statement initially bothered me, it was in fact, a blessing in disguise. It caused me to consolidated all the forces and resources at my disposal and totally focus, with complete concentration, on only serving the children under my care. Resultant from that commitment to do my best for them, came a “commissioned sculpture” acknowledging me as an “outstanding educator”.

    I wasn’t completely “Platonic Like” in my handling of the principal. After my classes got rolling, on occasion, I made sport of him and threatened to leave; up until the time he was removed.

    Point being, it was never really about the principal or myself. The Creator separated me from a flawed leader and used my obstinacy and determination to show him up, all for the benefit of the many children and young adults I taught over the course of my career. My priorities and attention were where they needed to be.

    I’m beholden to that principal, for he brought the best out of me, warts and all, for the benefit of my students.

    Rick, I hold a special affinity for you. One that will never fade with time. Your immediate intervention on behalf of a “war widow”, spared her from being cast from her home and thrown to the street. She remains forever grateful and is doing very well. Thanks for taking the time to help her; and for sharing your brilliant investigative insight on a broad range of intricate topics.

    With Love, Blessings & Respect, Always…

  3. Are you insane?? you want to further militarize schools more than they already are with greater firepower and attack dogs???
    the purpose for police at schools now is just to further the corrupt government by supplying their private prison buddies with a ready supply of young product, and turning kids into obedient, docile drones. thousands of kids have been marked for life by these criminals for acts that would have, when we were kids, been dealt with with detention or extra homework.

    43% of today’s public schools have a cop in them; but yet the school shootings continue. so the argument that even more arms are required is a non-starter. and the fact that kids of color in schools are arrested at 3 times the rate of white kids, and unarmed blacks are used as target pratice by police every where, should make you stop and consider the psychic toll it would take on them seeing a machine gun, body-armoured thug with an attack dog walking down the school corridors.

    even if you believe that all these school shootings are real, and not government sponsored false flags, putting in more state sponsored thugs is not the answer.

  4. Keysbum,

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my article. I’ve often opened “The Blue Paper” hoping to see a response from you, on the multifaceted topics addressed in said paper. Hope you’ll continue sharing your broad insight and perspectives.

    As you alluded to, perhaps I’m insane, however, I’m not stupid. I’ve come at this “student safety” issue from an empirical perspective, based upon my personal experience as to what can secure populated and exposed areas, while providing comfort and an over-all feeling of contentment for those being protected.

    As you know, “firearms” are not the problem. These inanimate objects have been instruments of peace, freedom and protection from tyranny, when in the hands of “right minded” individuals. Without an exception, all the children and students that I’ve been involved with over the course of my teaching career knew that fact. Black, White, Brown, Yellow & Red children could differentiate between a “Good/Safe” person in possession of a firearm; and a “Bad/Unsafe” person, who should not be in possession of a firearm.

    It’s troubling that the FBI, Broward Sheriff’s Office, School Administers and the like; were unable to make that distinction and protect the targeted children. Many believe their negligence was in part responsible for the success of the alleged Murderer.

    I’m not a fan of “Theories” and “Proposed Explanations”, as to what the police and government has up their sleeves for our students. I’m a simple man that wants concrete answers, developed upon facts, data and personal experience.

    The position of School Resource Officer (cop at school) must be re-evaluated and re-defined. Societal threats and cultural decline call for an appropriate adjustment. It’s unfortunate that you’d view a “School Marshal” as screened and defined by the criterion set forth, as a: “body armored thug with an attack dog”.

    God Orderly Direction with an emphasis upon safety and positive relationships; are mandatory prerequisites for any Student Learning to occur…

    As always, Blessings & Respect….

    • you live in a quixotic world my friend. the police, from their origination were, and are, tools of oppression. protect and serve has only been their paradigm for the capitalist class that created them, and the government that now funds them on the capitalist’s behalf. public school has always been about social engineering and programming. these are not theories or proposed explanations; these are empirical facts. police in schools are just a pipeline to the prison industrial complex and an extension of socialization. is there ever a reason for a cop to handcuff a 4 yr. old? for a cop to fling little girls across a room? for kids of all ages to be introduced to the criminal justice system for infractions that previously resulted in detention, or at worst suspension? middle school kids, high school kids, now have criminal records that will follow them for life.

      the machine gun toting, body armored thugs have earned their reputation. they don’t need to be anywhere near our kids. you want to believe in an Andy of Mayberry world, when in fact you are surrounded by Robo Cop with defective software.

  5. Keysbum,

    Flowing from a stream of cause and effect occurrences, the powerful create organizations/systems that protect their influence and wealth, while advancing their agenda.

    They fund and form governments with police departments, to enforce the laws they created.

    Attempting to “level the playing field”, a mechanism to introduce some form/sense of “justice, fairness and equality” into society, was to be had via an evolving system of democratic elections (voting) to stem the tide of tyranny.

    Imperfect People and their Imperfect Political Candidates, elect Imperfect Government Officials, who appoint and hire imperfect police chiefs’, FBI agents, principals, teachers and school officials.

    What’s The News Here…Cosmos, Universe and Inhabitants “are” as they have been “created”. It has been that way a long time.

    Keysbum, you’re aware of an actual and authentic Answer to all of “IT”… Training and Advancing oneself towards a Self-Realized and Self-Actualized “state of existence”. The world can then model and follow the joy and bliss attained by such Leaders.

    Until then, get used to it… You’ll just have to deal with “some very imperfect people, on “some very imperfect terms”.

    Although brought to my knees on many occasions, I’ve personally experienced the valorous goodness extended to me by many police officers. I’ve witnessed brave and courageous men and women in Law-Enforcement risk careers, life and all they ever worked for, for a disenfranchised innocent person, wrongfully accused.

    I’ve also viewed video of what I considered serious crimes being committed by police officers. I’ve been vocal and on the forefront of demanding disciplinary action and punishment in response to their egregious conduct.

    I realize and respect that your life and experiences are different than mine. Perhaps causing you to arrive at some of your ideological positions.

    Just because you say something, and no matter how many times you may say or write something; it doesn’t make it true, correct nor right (“body armored thugs with an attack dog”).

    Student behavior, from some rather notorious characters, was just fine in my classroom. Establishing and modeling the behavioral guidelines to be adhered to the opening day of school. I never used the principal, detention or any outside source to punish my students. It was always effectively worked out in the classroom.

    Times, society and our culture have changed. Hiring a credentialed “School Marshal” of high moral caliber, proficient, qualified and trained in all skills required to protect students and staff, along with a similarly trained and seasoned K-9, is precisely the responsible action to take at this time.

    The “Quixotic Consciousness” I’ve been working to create, has been a long time in coming. Its accompanying clarity and distinctness has allowed me to process the world about me, with a penetrating degree of exactness and precision.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • cognitive dissonance is such an interesting phenomena.

      you correctly illiterate that the wealthy control the organizations and governments that control us all. yet you continue to believe that these same powerful entities, fully enveloped in their own survival and development, who control and own all, would somehow allow for the rabble(us), to have a voice by voting, or simply demanding change, thereby potentially putting their position in peril.

      You cannot change the system from within. You cannot hire “high moral fiber” marshals. the system does not allow for it, nor will it ever allow for it. the agenda of police, and police in schools, is exactly what you state: the continuation of protecting their influence and wealth, while advancing their agenda.

  6. This is simple, get tough on the rule breaking little assholes and they will learn the price tag. Bring a gun and boot them for life and yes let them have a record as they earned it.

    What we need are real cops that don’t run and hide. Too many take the job thinking of good pay for low risk and easy job. Yes train and check them and hell yes use K 9 as a dog could easily outrun a cop.

    Color or race has nothing to do with it unless we have proof they are singled out. Fact is we have a high black prison population and it is because they did the crime.

  7. Keysbum,

    Thank you for continuing the dialog. You’ve advanced some of your ideas. Yes, as I understand the definition I may indeed suffer from a form of:

    cognitive dissonance
    • Examples
    • Word Origin
    noun, Psychology.
    1.
    anxiety that results from simultaneously holdingcontradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes,beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a personbut disapproves strongly of one of his or herhabits.

    However, as “Imperfect and Prone to Error” our species is, isn’t this type of anxiety “a given”; when dealing with agencies, governments and systems that all employ people who are flawed and defective in character to some degree or another. Along with our own individual shortcomings, this type of mild and sometimes severe conflict will always birth some form of anxiety, identifiable as “cognitive dissonance”.

    Accepting this reality and working with it from a perspective of remaining unattached and objective in pursuit of one’s goal has been a way of life I seek to live.

    Differentiating between appropriate and inappropriate, criminal and legal, murder and justified homicide has not been that difficult for me. Although others might question and find fault with my decisions, my “conscience” was always operational, and at the end of the day I was able to process through my actions, and live with the decisions I made at the time.

    I’ve met some cut throats and some really spectacular people, possessing uncommon valor and a compassionate heart. Many wore uniforms, some wore rags.

    The proposal before us has Merit. Stand with me on this one. We’ll work it out and tweak it until we get it “as right as right can be”. We’ll secure the highest quality candidates available and if they’re not the best, we’ll weed out the undesirables, and turn the remaining graduates into the finest “School Marshals” one could have.

    If in the end it doesn’t materialize as intended, we’ll shut the program down and walk away knowing we gave it our best shot.

    Again, many thanks for the conversation. Your invaluable input shaped an intelligent and uplifting discussion.

    Blessings & Respect…

  8. JimInKeyWest,

    The principle of cause and effect rules the universe. Consequences speedily applied will change behavior. Application of a just, impartial and non-biased prosecution and punishment of another’s alleged miss-conduct or crime, requires an individual possessing enormous wisdom, integrity and courage.

    I don’t believe in “Enabling” children, adolescents, young adults; or anyone for that matter, in the pursuit of destructive forms of acting out and criminal mischief. Impartial, fair, consistent well-thought out and most importantly an “anger free” response; in actuality shows the child/individual that you care and love them.

    Students visualizing at their schools a “Marshal” and his/her beautiful Dog, who are solely there to protect them, will make them aware that they are loved and valued. Their lives mean Something…

    “Color and Race” should have nothing to do with law-enforcement and dispensing justice. However Jim, I’m here to tell you that on too many occasions it has. I’ve had this type of ugly bias thrust at me full throttle, as the “justice system” was entirely willing to execute an innocent man, “they knew to be innocent”. He was a Black disenfranchised scapegoat, whose life had to be taken to protect their criminal enterprise.

    My motto, which worked effectively in my classrooms for many years, with a plethora of diversity was simple: “Firm, Fair and Friendly”. On occasion I had to force myself to conduct myself in that manner to every student. However, with the help of the One that has all Power, I was able to do so on a regular and consistent basis. When I failed, I apologized to the student for my error.

    Jim, with clam, poise and a cool head we can effectively address whatever is before us. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • In the 60’s we never had drugs or guns. A teacher back then could and would paddle your ass, now even a parent can’t and that is exactly why we have the problems today. I don’t think today that it can be controlled. Solution will make 99% of the kids in school happy and feel safe. Just remove the bad 1 % and boot them out or put in a juve home. I am 100% behind funding real cops with a dog and clean the mess up. Yes break the rule on guns and zero tolerance. It will help in the future as nobody will rent to them or hire them. Yes turns them into drug dealers and lands them in prison to get raped. Let them make the choice.

  9. Jiminkeywest,

    Educators have an obligation and duty to create safe and stimulating learning environments, so that students can learn and advance themselves. Anybody or anything interrupting or denigrating the learning process must be removed. Alternative learning settings on and off campus can be constructed to meet the needs of students requiring specialized instruction…

    Blessings & Respect…

    • Yes could agree more and very few need removed as corrective actions fix the issue. With the rise of killings at school we need to take serious action or we will see parents home schooling for safety. Our son went to KW high years ago and was no issues other other than perhaps gays. And I am 100 % fine with them having the choice of being gay as long as not disturbing straights.

      A toy gun 20 years ago would not been a problem but today we must take it seriously. Is there a good way to solve this ? Yes , hate to see a kid destroyed over a toy gun but he should know the scare and not done it. He likely will be a thug when and if he graduates. His future is not the best.