School Safety

SCHOOL VIOLENCE has grown to near epidemic proportions nationwide. Ohio Valley schools, unfortunately, are not exempt from criminal activity.

That is why resource officers are of prime importance. Their presence within schools is invaluable in making the educational process much safer and productive for students and staff members alike.

Resource officers have been widely embraced. They bring a lot of positives to the table.

Unfortunately, funding, or the lack of it, plays havoc with school districts being able to employ such an officer. It would make sense for all schools to be able to have a resource officer on duty, but we also realize that money matters make that an impossibility.

That is why we are glad to see a sensible joint effort taking shape in Barnesville. Village council met earlier this week, and one of the topics on the docket was the employment of a resource officer for the Shamrock school system.

A plan was broached where the school district and village would share the costs of the officer. If the plan comes to fruition, the resource officer would be in place for the 2012-13 school year.

In years past, a county program helped pick up the costs of the position. Such as funding vehicle is no longer in existence.

Instead, Barnesville village and school officials share a common safety vision for students. They realize the importance of the position.

As a result, they have discussed splitting the salary for a resource officer. The school district would shoulder the lion’s share of the costs (65 percent) and the village picking up the balance.

If such a proposal makes fiscal sense to both the school district and the police department, we are in full support. The benefits of a resource officer is priceless.

We commend Barnesville school and village officials for understanding the need for a safe educational environment and for their willingness to make it happen.