Using veterans to secure schools brilliant idea, January 11
Regarding the Jan. 6 letter about school Security, submitted by W.H. Keyworth, the writer makes a valid point about retired or other military veterans being ideal for school security. In fact, as a retired military security specialist, I was a campus security officer (unarmed) in Northern California, and I would like to add my thoughts.
The first, and most important point, is the idea “demilitarize their mindset.” Bad idea, simply because their mindset is an absolute must: quick reaction, discipline, an ability to be proactive rather than reactive and awareness of surroundings. You don't want to know what is on the school campus; you want to know what does not belong there. You want any school security official to have those abilities, and the ingrained ability to react swiftly to any and all alarms, even those that turn out to be false. As far as “screening to weed out” those with PTSD, absolutely. Any local VA clinic or Veteran's Service Office would more than likely be very helpful in that area, if only our local leaders would invite them to a conference to address the issue.
I am 100 percent for gun ownership rights, but an armed school official is armed isn't going to be nearly enough; school officials, parents and children must be made aware of the threats that are out there, and in such a way that the youngest of us are not scared to go anywhere, but are confident enough that they can identify a threat, real or perceived. But that letter brought up a great idea, and I just wanted to expand on that, using personal experience.
Norman B. Poppell