Editorial: DeWine’s plan only part of solution for school security

A recent editorial by the Youngstown Vindicator:

After last month’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, Gov. Mike DeWine likely was doing what most of us were doing — wondering how to stop the massacres in our schools that just keep happening. But being a governor, DeWine was in a position to quickly “do something,” as it were, and announce plans to spend “a significant amount of money” on ensuring every school building in the state is protected.

Superintendents have been asked which schools need infrastructure additions, in an effort DeWine acknowledges “is not going to be cheap.”

That’s an understatement. Though details are scant, DeWine is probably talking about additions such as metal detectors and classroom barricades. “When we’re dealing with our children’s lives, we must be willing to spend the money we need to spend,” he said.

While most Ohioans would agree with him, DeWine must be careful he is not spending money for the sake of spending, while the underlying issues go unaddressed. Are there, for example, awareness and mental health programs that would do just as much good — in fact would also be money we need to spend because “we’re dealing with our children’s lives?”

DeWine’s focus on tactics to defend our kids’ lives moments before a tragedy unfolds is understandable. And he is to be commended for also announcing plans to pay for “comprehensive” training for all Ohio educators to help identify troubled kids early.

But those working and studying in our schools should not bear the burden for fixing all of what is wrong in our culture on this issue. Nor should taxpayers be saddled with the burden of paying to turn our schools into fortresses unless we are certain such measures truly will save lives.

DeWine’s idea may be the right one. It can’t be the only one.

— Youngstown Vindicator, June 6