Despite the obviously left-leaning nature of the Lawyerology blog and its principal writer, we are open to the opinions of our conservative counterparts. In fact, at times we even agree with them. The following is a response to my post following the Newtown tragedy. Go here to view the original post. Considering the thought and time dedicated to commenting so thoroughly, it seems appropriate that Ed Guitierrez’s comment be published as a guest post.
From Ed Guitierrez:
On this most painful of subjects, I would like to offer my point of view.
Call me a Reaganaut, because I am one. I am not a Reagan Democrat. I am a proud conservative, and I like guns, and the ability to have them. And while I agree with Mr. Sullivan and his comments, I am hard-pressed to see any end all be all to this issue. Horrific circumstances continue to arise randomly. There is no reason to it.
But what I do see is that budget cuts are everywhere when it comes to public education. So how is any school district going to be able to support an armed sentry for all of their schools. Major metro areas with populations of over a million people will have big challenges meeting this idea for a long list of reasons. I live in one of those types of areas. This is not to say that I don’t like the idea, because I really do like the idea. I do not want to be one of those parents who receives a horrible phone call.
San Diego is no stranger to horrific tragedy. We might be “America’s Finest City” but we are also a border town. Families enjoying a weekend outing have been gunned down in a crowded McDonald’s, kids have been kidnapped on the way to or from school. Even in the best of areas, kids have called their parents in a panic because a “delivery man” was banging down the front door demanding to be let in the house (knowing the kids where home alone). Yes, we may have it all, but we have it all if you know what I mean.
I live in the one of the most coveted public school districts in San Diego. So much so that it has a noticeable direct affect on property values. And because of our standards, let me share with you our approach, district wide, K-12, which covers several zip codes.
Hands on parenting, and, we don’t put up with ANY shit. You see, we regard education as a gateway to our children’s future success, not as a state funded baby sitting service so we can go to work. Not only are our schools automating, but parents fill out mountains of paperwork weeks before school starts. The #1 item, school conduct and expectations of parents. Yes, parents are held responsible and accountable. Working 40, 50, 60 hours a week does not exempt any parent. Parenting should not be a novelty.
In the 8 years my son has been in school, there have been only two altercations between two students. The result, quick investigation, followed by expulsion. There is no second chance, or three strikes law. There is no “consultation” followed by three day suspension. In fact, suspensions are rare and reserved for “grey line” issues. Kids are just expelled if they do no display proper citizenship that has become a chronic problem. Everything is well documented.
Parents who have a problem with this can threaten with legal, but they also signed documentation and acknowledgement of policies before school started. Also, the embarrassment of being faced by other hands on parents is a deterrent. Besides, the prospect of having your convenient world, inconvenienced for several years is enough to keep parents in check.
It may sound harsh and off the subject, but really, it is the subject. If the mother in Conn. didn’t hide her son’s problem, the awful tragedy may have not happened. As well as the Columbine incident. Hands on Parenting is a key factor.
Also, the guns in school issue, is really such a minor issue. The more common, everyday issue or concern which is overlooked because school shootings are so tragic and horrific are sexual predators around school campuses, drugs, gangs, and the like. So what do we do, for many of us, the Sheriff’s Department is our best friend.
As concerned parents, our Sheriff’s Department randomly patrols around our schools at various random times. One or two squad cars, motorcycle police giving tickets to speeding parents, K9 patrol. It’s random, unpredictable, but visible. We appreciate it and it works. That also means showing appreciation by generously supporting their yearly fundraising efforts. After all, they protect and serve our community.
So what exactly is my definition of hands on parenting? Well, being involved with your kids school work, knowing their friends and their friends parents and socializing with them. It is also, more importantly, being a part of the school. Making sure teachers have help in the classrooms, that there are noon-duty aids to supervise recess. All volunteer work. Being a Hands on Parent in a high functioning school, only takes time. Really! It’s not money. Only time. Oh, you can make it expensive if you want and loose control in the process, but really time is what is takes. That’s it.
We know “of” or personally know every kid in both of my kids’ classes, and many of the parents as well. This is actually normal, and EXTREMELY rare for a major metro area like ours. Elementary classes typically have fifteen students. Junior high and high school classes have thirty to sixty students. By the way, in my daughters elementary school, besides the PTA with six board members, we have three sub-committees. This is normal for us. We don’t put up with shit, and we are concerned with state and federal API scores and how our schools rank to other schools locally and nationwide. A 4.0 GPA is not good enough, and trust me, by JR High/Middle School, the kids know that. Sure, there is some politics, but that is normal. I will say, it is politics for the good of the students. It is not social climbing, who vacationed where, the nosey “so what do you do for a living?” question, and other annoying, “so what, who cares” facts. Our small bubble is too busy for that kind of B.S. and “those” kind of people don’t last in our community or quickly change.
So how does all of this relate to the topic at hand? Guns in school? A solution? It could be as easy as this. Keep the kids focused, active, accountability for all, be involved, and let NOTHING slide.