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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 24, 2016

5/4/2013 12:01:00 PM
Letter: Closing Clarkdale-Jerome campus reactionary and ill-conceived


The Verde Independent May 3 had a front-page and an editorial page article about closing the Clarkdale-Jerome School campus for security reasons that stem from being in the wake of the Sandy Hook School tragedy.

The claim that we need something like a security fence seems totally ludicrous to me. To start with this school appears to be a favorite for various sports events because of its open layout and great terrain. The close relationship of this school with the public, police and fire department also has something to do with the its popularity.

Sandy Hook School had, and has, one of the favored security systems in place and operating at the time of the disastrous shooting rampage. Now question: What good did the security system do for Sandy Hook? I do not think the "Tim Foist security precautions" have done any real good in Cottonwood either, beyond making some feel-good reactionaries feel good about their restrictions. It has, I'm sure, caused some kids that would otherwise have used the playground when school was not in session to play street ball and get their running in on the street.

Down through time there has been a recurring warning and that was spoken by men like Benjamin Franklin, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Winston Churchill all saying something like: Those that will exchange freedom for security will find neither. For example, one of the most secure places around is being locked in prison and even there, people get killed or wounded by other people, because bad people do bad things. This is not some new era thing. It is human nature, which has not changed since the Garden of Eden.

All too often, a supposedly great security system does nothing more than generate a challenge to wrongdoer and a false security within the people that work with it and it ultimately does more harm than good, which I believe was/is at least part of the problem at Sandy Hook. The guards or administrators became smug, complacent or apathetic in trusting their great system and not paying attention to the person or persons.

Please do not allow the closing of or making a quasi prison compound out of this great school that is watched pretty closely by first responders and potentially by legally armed citizens that would give their lives to protect and defend" the children, citizens and visitors at any time or at any function of the Clarkdale-Jerome School or anything else in the town of Clarkdale for that matter.

Nothing, absolutely nothing else, is as effective as alert citizens that cooperate with public protection minded first responders.

Dale Gohr


Related Stories:
• Letter: Clarkdale-Jerome School security ‘a must’

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Concerned Parent
I think it's an issue for everyone living in the Clarkdale-Jerome School District because, if it won't actually improve safety, it's an expense that neither the school district nor taxpayers can afford. This what needs to be discussed. In what way will children be safer and from what, specifically?

For instance, Cottonwood-Oak Creek really needed to fix the Cottonwood Elementary fence backing the drop-off. That was both a danger and a liability. It did not, however, need to surround Oak-Creek School, and all the electronics are probably ineffective overkill. This kind of discussion would probably have saved a bundle for the classroom, for common core transitions, etc.

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2013
Article comment by: Concerned Parent

As a concerned parent, I find it ludicrous that this has even become an issue. Right now, there are no security measures in place at the school and this is a positive step in the right direction. I would venture to guess that most opposed are not employees of the school and probably do not have children attending classes there. They are most likely individuals worried about being able to walk their pets or concerned about the way the fence may look as they drive by. Mr. Gohr, I am sorry you will no longer be able to walk your dog on the school grounds during school hours, but I am sure this will not cause you to much grief and I am sure there is little chance a security fence protecting our children will take away from the small town feel we as residents of Clarkdale have come to enjoy. I enjoyed your reference to Churchill and Franklin, here one for you…..
“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Article comment by: Slater Slater

Homeland security bought over 5 billion rounds of ammo.Why
To keep citizens from buying bullets.Guns w/o
bullets aren't much good.Bama man can't stop
the guns,he'll take the ammunition.
Be very aware my friends,very aware of big brother.If it's not 30yrs to late.

Posted: Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Article comment by: It seems to me:

Fences are good for marking the boundaries of school property in urban and suburban areas. They also keep balls and children from wandering into busy streets or down embankments. They prevent the use of school yards as a shortcut from one point to another. They're fairly effective in keeping neighborhood pets and other critters at bay and probably deter some transients looking for a night's shelter. That's about it. If fences weren't breachable, prisons wouldn't need armed guards and other security devices.

Since Clarkdale-Jerome doesn't have any of these usual problems, I agree with Dale Gohr. It's safer without anything obstructing police, fire, and watchful neighbor access from all directions.

However, there may be legal liability issues that warrant spending insufficient funds on fences rather than in the classroom. Maybe it's better to see what the safety experts have to say at the community meeting on May 15.

Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe I missed something

Nut job goes into school, can't get into school? He can go into theater, grocery store or mall. He can go anywhere. No armed guards at little league.

More cameras, less rights for innocent citizens, more security . . . gets us what?

I only see a tidy profit for the security companies, gun dealers and more money for Homeland Security.

You really think they are going to keep you safe?

Who do you think is going to come to the Verde Valley and shoot things up? Newsflash, we aint important in the scheme of things.

It's gonna be some local nut job everybody knew and all this security is not gonna change a thing, except that YOU now have less rights and you pay more in taxes for that 'priviledge.'

Feeling any safer?

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