It had to happen. The DR is obviously censoring the BYH submissions so that the posts now are boring, staid and droll....

Many better solutions than arming teachers

Student Walkouts Gun Violence Colorado-5
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South Florida area high school graduate Becky Van Horn, 24, who now lives in Breckenridge, Colo., holds a sign to remember her late coach Chris Hixon, who was killed in the shooting shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, during a National School Walkout Day protest Wednesday, March 14, in Frisco, Colo. School students participated in a nationwide rally for 17-minutes, one minute for each student killed in the recent school shooting. (Hugh Carey/Summit Daily News via AP)

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The notion of arming public school teachers has come around again, from some of the usual suspects in the General Assembly.

This idea was floated last year but got nowhere, even when Republicans had super-majorities in both houses of the legislature.

State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson, a Republican who’s no liberal snowflake, thinks it’s a bad idea. So do two-thirds to three-quarters of North Carolina teachers, depending on which poll you pick.

The latest version, in the state Senate, has the kicker that teachers who agree to pack heat — up to 3,000 of them statewide — would get a 5 percent increase in their paychecks.

The gun-packing teachers — officially “teacher resource officers” — would be required to have training similar to a sheriff’s deputy and would have the same powers as a regular law enforcement officer, including arrest, while on the school grounds.

Anyone who knows how an ordinary school works — as opposed, say, to a Bruce Willis movie — can see all sorts of ways this can go wrong.

The teacher resource officers won’t wear uniforms. So, in the event of an “active shooter incident,” it’s hard to say how a police officer, arriving on the scene, could tell an armed teacher from an armed intruder.

In the event of an incident, it’s not guaranteed the armed teachers would be armed. (They’d have the option of keeping their pieces in a locked safe on premises. How long would it take to run and fetch it?)

The possibilities of accident or theft are all too easy to imagine.

And it’s not as if schools are without security. North Carolina sheriff’s departments and other agencies station more than 1,000 trained officers — known as school resource officers — on campuses already. We support adding more of these positions.

More guns do not mean more security. They mean more gunfire and more things that could go wrong.

We think the N.C. Association of Educators and other teachers’ groups are right. Instead of spending money on arming teachers, we would do well to hire more school nurses, counselors and psychologists. They could do a much better job of spotting and helping troubled youths before some of them show up at school with assault weapons.

We also endorse the idea of proactively forming smaller school communities, especially at the high school level. Robert Smith, a UNCW professor, made the argument in a Nov. 18 op-ed, “A Step We Should Take to Curb School Violence.”

Smith says many students are currently “lost in the crowd” in large high schools and would benefit from closer relationships with “a caring adult and student connections within a group.”

Such connections, Smith writes, could reduce the likelihood of students resorting to violence, and also improve the chance that someone contemplating violence would be discovered.

That is the type of solution we should be pursuing, not giving teachers guns. That’s an arms race that will do no one any good.

The Daily News of Jacksonville


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


September 29, 2019

An annual state report released this month showed students in Pitt County public schools improved their scores last year on reading, math and other end-of-grade tests, but we still have a challenge ahead of us.

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September 15, 2019

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August 18, 2019

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August 09, 2019

The Trump administration is considering a draft regulation to lower drug prices. North Carolinians have little reason to celebrate.

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July 28, 2019

Everyone embroiled in the debate over the State Health Plan should be working toward the same thing: the best health care for the lowest cost for the people of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, disagreement over how to do that escalated into a feud and now has plummeted into a childlike spat.


Vidant medical center

July 21, 2019

“Send her back!”

The racist refrain, soft at first, crescendoed as the crowd at President Donald Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally on Wednesday in Greenville emphatically picked it up. On live television, sitting stage right of the President at East Carolina…


July 04, 2019

As the story goes, our Founding Fathers declared their independence from their mother country 243 years ago today, that the “united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.”

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