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Marlboro Rabbi Implores BOE To Reconsider Effects of Security Measures

The following is a letter from Temple Rodeph Torah Rabbi Donald Weber to the Marlboro Board of Education.

Dear Board of Education Members,

I am sorry that I am unable to attend the next meeting of the Board, but I would like to share my thoughts on your proposal to put police in every school in our district.

First, I applaud you for your concern for the safety of our students. I know this is a difficult time for every parent, teacher and administrator, and it is good to see you are taking everyone’s concerns to heart. I have a difficult time accepting, however, that the proposal is a good one – for the students and teachers, or for the community at large.

We must face the fact that perfect safety is impossible to guarantee, whether in our schools, our homes or our world. Accidents happen, and terrible people exist; there is nothing we can do to change those realities of nature. Having an armed guard or officer in every school might give the impression of safety, but it will do very little to increase it.

For this proposal to work, we would also need to remove the glass from any outside door, since as we saw in Newtown, someone with a gun could shoot their way through any door, even if it is locked. We would probably need to remove all the classroom windows, too, as they could be shot out to gain entrance as well. Then we would need to end outside recess and physical education, as those students are completely vulnerable to an attack from far beyond the school’s walls.

But to be really safe, we would also need to put armed guards on each school bus. And at each bus stop, where kids wait for the bus.

Then our town will have to address the problem of supermarkets and stores where our kids congregate. And our churches and temples, too. And the rec centers, and…

If our district has the money to pay all these police officers, couldn’t we, instead, hire more teachers? I have to believe that every student in our town would benefit every day from smaller classes, more personal attention and perhaps even enough teacher-student interaction to be able to recognize a student in trouble and get help before he or she decides to go on a killing spree.

I know that you have our best interests at heart. But please, take the time to consider the true effect of your proposal. If we make our schools into jails, complete with armed guards, we will have created an entirely new problem. We cannot protect our children from everything, but we can protect them from fear by showing them that we are not afraid. Ben Franklin said it best: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Thank you very much for listening.

 

Sincerely, 

Rabbi Donald A. Weber

Mel January 07, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Short term solution: The presence of armed guards at each of our nine schools. Long tem solution: "If our district has the money to pay all these police officers, couldn’t we, instead, hire more teachers? I have to believe that every student in our town would benefit every day from smaller classes, more personal attention and perhaps even enough teacher-student interaction to be able to recognize a student in trouble and get help before he or she decides to go on a killing spree." - I think more individualized attention to the students could go a long way. Maybe more guidance counselors as well? Someone should be questioning the ratio of students per guidance counselor at Marlboro High School. Also, the rate of occurrence at which they meet? - I think our schools should be implementing programs and interactive workshops that will help to promote prosocial skills.
Steve R January 07, 2013 at 08:46 PM
So are you willing to cut out school sports, because according to the CDC there is an 800% greater chance of a child being killed in school sports than a shooting at a school. So if this were really about preserving life, statistically speaking, we should eliminate all school sports as that would have a greater efect on the preservation of our children. Yes there is a cost to what we are willing to do to preserve life, people make these decisions everyday. Even look at training for single officer response to an active shooting, it does not say run in with guns a blasing, but it tells a single officer to contain and take cover (from both the FBI and DHS).
Stephanie Samuels February 14, 2013 at 12:14 AM
School shooters do NOT want suicide by cop. Their exit plan is suicide by their own hands. It is soft targets they want NOT a righteous gun battle. Let them pick another soft target just NOT our schools. Educate well on this topic. Look into Ret Lt. Dave Grossman who is most knowledgeable in this area. I applaud Marlboro Township for doing the right thing not the easy thing. Denial is NOT a strategy. Stephanie Samuels
Stephanie Samuels February 14, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Before one comments on assault rifles and the size of magazines it should be noted that assault rifles arevfully automatic weapons which WAS not used in Newtown. It was a Buschmaster .223 semi automatic weapon. It makes no difference of the magazine capacity. Reloading takes less than one second. Please look at Susan Gratia Hupp testify before Congress. It is an education we could all use.
Stephanie Samuels February 14, 2013 at 02:20 AM
The quote from Ben Franklin is an interesting one. An interpretation could be that if we the people give up our liberty such as the second amendment which was put into place to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety. If this is correct than there is nothing to protect us from another Holocaust. Here is a documented fact with reference: Tonso, William and David Kopel. "Gun Bans and 'Schindler's List.'". Davekopel.org/2damendment.htm. The Second Amendment Project, a Research Center of the Independence Institute, 24 Aug. 1994. Web. "(Schindler's List) omitted a critical part of the real story: the part where Schindler gives all the Jews semiautomatic rifles. According to Mr. Schindler's wife Maria, when Schindler decided to liberate his Jewish workers, he handed them all semiautomatic weapons so they could fight the Nazis. In today's politically correct Hollywood, Steven Speilberg probably would have ruined his chances for an Oscar by telling the whole story about Oskar Schindler's devotion to freedom."

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