“The purpose is clear. It is safety with solvency. The country is entitled to both.” -U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee…”-John Donne
“America has a right to the Second Amendment, but the people of America have a right to safety and the prevention of gun violence in their community”- Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Many parents have called the Baldeo Foundation for assistance in eradicating violence in our schools, from putting an end to bullying, assaults, threats and mass killings. Others are concerned about their right to be accepted in our public schools.
All kids living in the United States have the right to a free public education, even if they are in this country illegally. They still have the fundamental right to go to public school. Moreover, our Constitution requires that all kids be given equal educational opportunities, no matter what their race, ethnic background, religion, or sex, or whether they are rich or poor, citizen or non-citizen.
Mass public shootings are on the rise, and schools are the most vulnerable targets. Dogma and litigation concerning Second Amendment rights and the proliferation of arguments for and against by influential and vested interests should not delay further protective actions. Parents have an important stake in their children’s safety, and are rightly concerned that the violence in our schools curtails a proper public education, and hence, are in breach of their fundamental rights.
We can no longer take the pain and suffering of our kids being hunted and shot to death for granted-not in our schools or elsewhere. Enough is enough!
The Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead is merely the tip of the iceberg. It must be the last incident.
The city, state and federal governments have the duty to protect our kids, including while in school. Far too many children have been murdered and bullied in our schools throughout the United States. Funding for this basic protection must be found from the taxes we collectively pay.
This is not the time for bickering, grandstanding and partisanship. It is time for our leaders to rally together to protect our children’s lives. We can no longer measure the costs of our children’s lives in dollars and cents. Use our tax dollars for this purpose.
We should start off by placing trained, armed police officers on site at every school. It will also serve as a deterrent to would be murderers, terrorists and bullies in our 6,700 public and private school buildings. There are about 4,500 school buildings in the 733 public school districts across the state, while private schools have about 2,000 buildings.
Willing educators can also serve in a similar capacity. New York City’s enhanced security measures for the city’s 1,800 school buildings, which include active shooter drills to be held by mid-March and random screening by metal detectors at all middle and high schools, should be implemented across New York state.
These interim measures need to be tried, while more permanent solutions thought out. The stakes are too high not to do so.
Note: Albert Baldeo is a civil rights activist and community advocate, and his political efforts placed previously ignored communities on the political and economic map. As the president of the Baldeo Foundation and Queens Justice Center, he has continued to fight for equal rights, dignity, justice and inclusion in the decision making process. He can be contacted at the Baldeo Foundation: AlBal