Perhaps the most sobering comment during a Nash-Rocky Mount school board meeting Monday came after Bob Jenkins wondered aloud if $200,000 would be enough to implement all of the security upgrades needed at local schools.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson answered in three words: “It is not.”
Therein lies the dilemma facing Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and plenty of other systems across the country. The school board is to be commended for committing $200,000 to install cameras, issue identification badges and upgrade doors and locks. Those measures will make a real difference in the very near future.
But bigger questions remain. Should school resource officers be a fixture on every campus? Should teachers or administrators be trained to carry and fire guns? What else can be done to ensure that Nash-Rocky Mount students, parents and educators never suffer a tragedy like the ones at Sandy Hook or Columbine schools?
Those questions must be part of a bigger discussion. As reported this week by Telegram staff writer Jim Holt, Jackson told school board members he believes safety upgrades will be a subject of conversation soon with Nash County commissioners.
Such measures often are expensive, and leaders for the county and the school system will be challenged to find the money for implementation.
But it’s hard to think of a challenge more worthwhile than protecting our students and educators. Parents everywhere will no doubt appreciate that discussion.