“Back in my day, we used to have to walk five miles to school in 100 degree weather, in five feet of snow, in rain, all kinds of weather conditions,” says my grandfather, and probably yours, too, if he’s still alive.
Back in the day, our parents and grandparents had to deal with all sorts of exaggerated turmoil we can’t imagine today… and likely don’t want to. I can’t walk 10 minutes down the road without my bad knee giving me trouble.
But no generation is without its obstacles. No, children today don’t have to go out to the back of the schoolhouse and cut firewood for the school’s only fireplace or stove to avoid hypothermia, but they are faced with an arguably more prominent and inconvenient aggravation.
School shootings have become, sadly, a common occurrence in this nation. Students and teachers may not have to grudge through the mud to get to school, but they do have to be burdened with an anxiety-induced vigilance that can take a toll on their mental health.
It took time for many schools to adapt to social progress in the ’60s, technology that now changes daily and research-backed standards of learning that are altering some teaching methods. Change is often resisted by the masses, but safety in schools cannot be one of those areas.
Secure vestibules at the city schools and several other safety initiatives started by the Dothan Police Department as part of a comprehensive plan are helping to give students, teachers and faculty peace of mind.
The city commission, school officials and law enforcement should be commended on pioneering a school safety plan and executing it with no direction from the state and minimal funding.
The physical improvements and aggressive safety policies are a worthy cost and should be a welcomed inconvenience to the community at large.
Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by education beat reporter Sable Riley, appears each weekend in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com