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Opinion

New legislation adds security measures to public schools

12/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Guest Editorial

By State Rep. Marilyn Slaby

As a mother of three and an elementary teacher for more than 30 years, I know that parents expect not only that their children will receive a quality education, but also that the schools their children attend will be a safe environment for everybody.

Sadly, terrible things happen sometimes. This especially hit close to home almost two years ago at Chardon High School near Cleveland. Although we will always remember the tragedy of that event, we should also be reminded of the courageous people who put their lives in harm’s way to help others. They are proof that there are good, selfless people among us who truly care about others and who make our society better.

Recently, there have been some ideas introduced at the Statehouse geared toward finding common-sense ways to make our schools safer. One of the ideas is outlined in House Bill (HB) 215, which was introduced by Rep. Anthony DeVitis (R-District 36), who serves another district in Summit County.

HB 215 establishes the “Law Officer Volunteer in Education” Program (or “LOVE” Program). This bill, which was recently passed out of committee with widespread bipartisan support, would permit off-duty or retired law enforcement officers to volunteer in schools as security. Volunteers would receive a $500 tax credit for their service.

While I believe this bill puts in place a policy that can keep our schools safer, it also can help save schools money. That is because they would not have to devote as many resources to hiring full-time security. Allowing officers to volunteer up to nine hours a week can reduce some of the costs that can add tremendous burdens to school budgets.

Volunteers are so important to our communities’ schools, helping at all kinds of functions and events. This bill, I believe, is in the same spirit of this volunteer service and also goes a long way toward addressing a serious concern at many schools in Ohio and throughout the entire country.

 

Rep. Slaby (R-District 38) may be reached by calling 614-644-5085, emailing Rep38@ohiohouse.gov or writing to State Rep. Marilyn Slaby, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215. District 38 represents the western portion of Summit County, including Bath, Boston, Copley, Fairlawn, Norton, Peninsula and Richfield.

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