On Oct. 29, WSB-TV in Atlanta aired a story about proposed security upgrades at Clayton County Schools. If voters approve a one-cent sales tax, the system hopes to use $52 million to upgrade its security system in schools throughout the county. Upgrades would include biometric scanners, upgraded metal detectors, new radios, and surveillance cameras in every classroom. The budget would also include tactical weapons for school police officers.
“Teachers will be wearing a lanyard equipped with a microphone that also has a button that can be utilized in case of an emergency,” Clarence Cox from Clayton County Schools Police said on-air on Tuesday.
According to “Clayton County News Daily,” SPLOST IV is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2014, ending its five-year lifespan. On Nov. 5, voters will determine whether the sales tax should continue through 2019. If approved, the school security upgrades will proceed as planned.
In August of 2013, 20-year-old Michael Brandon Hill entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Atlanta carrying an AK-47 rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition. Fortunately, no students or teachers were injured, thanks to the levelheaded thinking and extreme bravery of Antionette Tuff, who was able to talk Hill into surrendering to the police. CNN and many other national news outlets praised the school clerk as a true hero after the incident.
Following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2011, schools across the country tightened their security procedures. However, since that day, there have been 17 more school shooting incidents, including two in Atlanta: Price Middle School on Jan. 31, 2013 and the McNair incident on Aug. 20 of this year.
In light of the rising number of school shooting incidents across the country, isn’t it time for all schools to get security upgrades like those proposed by Clayton County? As parents, isn’t it our duty to protect our children, even when they’re away from home?
Each and every school system in America deserves an upgraded security system. If your Georgia county is renewing SPLOST this election season, be sure to get out and vote. The safety of students is one super reason to head to the polls on Nov. 5.
For a list of Georgia polling locations, head to “My Voter Page” and enter your name, county and birthday. Click on submit and your polling location will pop up in seconds.
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