The role of SROs
In the late 1970s, I was a school counselor at a local high school — hired specifically to work with at-risk students. One afternoon, an over-reactive, poorly trained police officer made choices that resulted in an emotionally distraught student becoming suicidal as he chose to threaten and intimidate her.
The result of the officer’s actions: the student ended up strapped to an ambulance gurney and hospitalized. I ended up thrown to the ground, handcuffed and taken to jail.
Images of this event flooded my awareness as I read the Sept. 1 article about the 16-year-old student who killed himself three hours after a school resource officer and a dean, without a parent present, pressured and intimidated him. No student under age 18 should ever be interrogated by a school resource officer unless a parent or guardian is present. Yet, as counselors, my wife and I have experienced this practice continuing in our local schools.
Parents, please talk with your school principal about the role of the school resource officer.
Tom Erney, Gainesville
Just like the business model of big health insurance and pharmacutical companies — where the greed of casual inhumanity is built in and the common good of the citizen and nation is ignored — Donald Trump and the GOP now want to stop protecting the environment of public lands and allow energy companies to do whatever they wish to America’s natural resources.
By spending lots of money on lobbying and campaign contributions, benefactors from the fossil fuel and other extraction industries are well rewarded by the GOP/Trump. Trump/the GOP will allow the cutting and burning down of everything in the environment for profit opportunity. Ruining rivers, streams and lakes; leaking ocean oil wells; Keystone pipeline and shale oil extraction; fracking every backyard in the USA; drilling in the Arctic; cutting in the Tongas (Alaska) National Forest and others; the list of profiteering destruction goes on.
This latest plunder is yet another sickening example of USA priorities, resulting in a massive and highly destructive transfer of natural resources from citizens in the 99% to a tiny number of greedy investors/oligarchs in the 1%. This must stop.
F. Douglas Stephenson, Gainesville
In 1994 a bill was signed to ban assault weapons. It was to expire in 2004 if not reinstated. Two thousand four was an election year so the bill died an untimely death because Congress was more worried about holding their jobs then the safety of the American people.
It’s way past time for term limits and career politicians. Only we the people can make that happen.
The knee-jerk reaction is to get rid of all guns from its citizenry. Gun crimes are mostly committed by those who possess them illegally. When owned by responsible people, they can be a deterrent to crime.
We are advised not to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics but we are encouraged to judge all gun owners by the action of a few lunatics. Think about it.
Eileen Maren, Gainesville
Maybe we should replace some of the wording on our Statue of Liberty. It could be, “Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry, etc. But take from us our bloodthirsty gun nuts and the politicians who stand in the way of sensible legislation that bans assault weapons and requires background checks.”
Clayton Smith, Gainesville
Next GNV4ALL meeting
The next meeting of the Gainesville For All initiative will be held Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Metcalfe Elementary School, 1250 NE 18th Ave. The Sun-sponsored initiative aims to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in the community. For more information, visit www.gnv4all.com.
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