Letter to the Editor

Keeping students safe top priority

Sunday, July 6, 2008

To the Editor:

I spent 28 years in the Air Force and the first few years, I worked in Casualty Assistance as a young airman.

My job was to report a member's death the headquarters, assign the casualty notification to a Casualty Assistance Officer and find him a driver.

They then left my office to notify the family of the member's death. It wasn't a good duty, and I always felt sorry for them. Sometimes, you would get an officer who had done the duty before and other times, you would get a "rookie."

One particular time in the New England area, my driver didn't show up. I was told to drive the "rookie" officer to the family's home and help him notify the family. I'm not sure who was more nervous, him or me. It was the worst feeling in my gut I had ever felt, watching the faces of the member's family and I had several sleepless nights after that.

I got that same gut feeling when I was told there were shots fired at Van Buren Elementary earlier this past school year. Driving out to Van Buren, I remember listening to the scanner in my truck and thinking, "how could this be," and I prayed no one was hurt. I was one of the first on the scene and thankfully, there were no serious injuries.

Part of the elementary and secondary projects Clay Community Schools are planning pertains to school and student safety. There has been a remonstrance filed to stop this project. I just don't get it. Why would anybody not want their students and staff to be safe while they're in school?

Soon, people will be asking you to sign either for or against the remonstrance. I urge you to sign against the remonstrance and for updating our schools into the 21st century. These repairs are far overdue. We must continue to help our students with today's and tomorrow's challenges.

Please, get on the "positive beam" with this community and sign for the project. If a community isn't willing to invest in itself, then that community shouldn't be surprised others aren't willing to invest in it.

Frank Misner,