By David Loomis
INDIANA – In political discussions about guns in schools, facts have come late to the debate. This appears evident among some members of the Purchase Line School Board.
At a recent meeting a year into the debate, board members deadlocked 4-4 (with one member absent) on a vote to pay armed guards to protect kids in school. Board member Roy Markle asked that the measure come up for a re-vote at a board meeting next month.
Absentee member Scott Beers did not respond to a Sept. 18 message sent to an address provided by the school administration. The message asked for his position on the proposal.
At the September board meeting, Markle pressed the issue by lobbying for one particular private security firm in Kittanning. Why that particular firm?
“Because we have been looking for a long time, and we need to do something,” Markle said. “A number of neighboring schools use them, including Marion Center. I’ve heard good things about them.”
Mr. Markel is correct about the popularity of policing school buildings with armed guards. It’s been a common public response around the country, not just around the county, since Columbine 20 years ago.
But a growing body of independent reporting and research shows that more armed guards in schools do not make school kids safer.