All posts by Clay Breece

Another School Shooting!

Another School Shooting! So, What do we do now? Harden the schools!

Sadly, we live in a different society. This is a virtual, desensitized society. A society that has lost it’s way with moral absolutes. A society that looks to situational ethics instead of moral absolutes. This 17 year old killer was interested in violent video games that involved killing people. He was on the varsity football team and was bullied constantly by not just students, but the coaches as well.

Objectively, this is a security issue, not a gun issue. We need to have a reasonable response to school shootings. Everything should be on the table.

The threat in a school shooting occurs the moment a gun begins shooting and ends when another gun stops the shooter, or when the shooter runs out of bullets.

In addition to security cameras, secure entrances and more secure playground areas, many schools have armed school resource officers.

Resource Officers have recently stopped a school shooting at a Maryland high school and at another high school in Dixon Illinois.

Resource Officers also stopped this recent shooting in Santa Fe Texas within seconds of his opening fire on students and faculty. Had resource officers not been on the scene at this shooting in Santa Fe Texas as well as the Maryland and Illinois high schools, the maniacal shooters would have been shooting for minutes not seconds.

I look forward to the upcoming meetings with discussions of how to add protections for our children.

Another part of the problem is how we handle mental illness in our schools.

We understand that there are significant differences between mental illness and minor mental disturbances. There are times when neurosis can effect a child’s decision making ability. Their ability to to know the difference between right and wrong, and to do what is right!

There are many things we can do now and some we can do later. This will not be a one size fits all solution. We need to raise up all the best practices from across the country. Some communities are getting this right. Let’s not forget we must also look at existing process and best practices to ensure we handle existing troubled teens correctly.
The students in school shootings are the victims.

Watch out though: The leftists’ strategy is: Whatever the student comments, whatever they advocate, to make it politically incorrect to criticize them.

They play on our initial perception that the student’s reaction is real, and the statements from these victims are from their hearts; it really has nothing to do with politics. Therefore, we look to loft the opinions and comments of these victims to an unassailable status; above politics.

* Whether they comment and advocate against the NRA, or if they go off against a certain political party or even our President, it is politically incorrect to criticize these victims.

This is patently wrong. This has been made political, and the commentary now is political.

We have some who want to make the NRA and others who support the 2nd amendment rights as the political boogieman. We have people who want to preserve gun free zones at all costs! Logic and common sense has seem to escaped some.

How has politics encroached here? These emotional teens, and the emotions of those in our community are being hijacked by anti 2nd amendment groups on a national level.

We know that there are leftist, activist organizations who want to parlay the emotion of these teens into fomenting division. To distract from the real issue and make this an anti-gun issue.

Education Freedom/ Can this work?

ESA (Education Saving Account).
 
Educational Freedom Discussion begins at: 2:56:40 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag6moV-i3Iw
at 2:57:50  we hear a Board Director advocate support for a resolution preventing poor families from getting help from the state, in order to get out of failing schools. She was admittedly proud that she spearheaded this effort.
at 3:02;21 My comments:
It is increasingly challenging for our constituents to know whether the information we have about certain key issues is really complete.
This BILL is not in committee nor is it in the pipeline to be brought into committee. No details on implementation, or any specifics at all have been defined at the state level.
 
* Why then is there opposition to an education option, when the details haven’t been worked out by our state legislature? 
 
How did this school district put out a detailed resolution, when the details haven’t been specified at the state level? 
 
* The stated “points” on the resolution could possibly be wrong conclusions. 
Can this work?
 
We should be getting all the best practices from all states where this is currently implemented and succeeding; Before we come to any conclusions! 
Theoretically, can we all agree that Harrisburg needs to do something to improve education for all children?
Powerful Special Interests are as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. These special interests have a strangle hold on a system (Government Monopoly) that keeps poor people in failing school districts.
I feel that supporting a failing school system, fails our children. A child gets one crack at a good, comprehensive education. Their address, should not be the deciding factor whether they achieve academic excellence. People live where they can afford to live. We cannot and must not limit a child’s education to a geographic component. As a conservative I theoretically want to give poor people options, that they don’e normally have. I want a system that helps their families with more options. Forcing a family to relocate is not an option!
The most venerable are the poor. They do not have educational options!
Do we all agree that we have way too many failing schools where our children are graduating not being proficient in reading, writing or math?
We hear people talk about the economic opportunity for people. We hear professional prognosticators state things like: WE don’t give people economic opportunity, WE put poor people in bad neighborhoods, WE put poor kids in bad schools: Who is WE? The Bureaucrats in Washington, Harrisburg and on local school boards: They are the folks who set the rules.
They protect the Government Monopoly on education at all costs, even at the cost of sacrificing poor families on the alter.
I don’t blindly support a Government Monopoly. 
 
* If a school is failing; we need to offer options. The education in our state and our country has been failing for over 40 years. 
 
* If certain school districts fail to add value; if specific schools and school districts fail to teach children to master reading, writing, and math, then we need to look at options for process changes that will improve our academic outcome. 
 
* Options that will improve the economic opportunity for high school graduates.  
 
This is not a money issue, or funding issue as some would like us to believe. 
 
The fact is: School funding in PA and in most states approach nearly half of the total budget for the state!
 
To have an open discussion about improving public education, everything must be on the table.
ESA’s are not popular with powerful special interests whom control teachers, and are pulling the strings; controlling politicians and bureaucrats! Therefore, the powerful organizations that control the education system, also control the poor in our community. They keep them in failing schools!
These powerful special interests do not want ESA’s to be part of any open discussion.
The fact is, the outcome of our lives and our futures are based on Family formations and on Education. Our lives and futures are not based on “luck of the draw” or “White Privilege”.
The faster we improve education for everyone, the faster we can transform the complexion of who has economic opportunity and who doesn’t. 
We must support kids by giving them the best chance at economic success through academic excellence. We all know that great teachers properly compensated and thorough, up-to-date curriculum determine successful academic outcomes. 
Here are some facts from the PA Dept. Of Education.
There are nearly 1.7 million students enrolled in 
nearly 3400 PA schools (about 4% 130, are charter schools). 
678 High Schools in 500 PA School Districts
 
A School Performance Profile (SPP) of 60 or under is failing.
690 schools scored less than 60 on the SPP. 
139 high schools that scored less than 60 on the SPP
 
Over 20% of PA schools (690) have an SPP score of 60 or under; they are failing. Not just in SPP but also in Math and Reading proficiency and College Readiness. 
 
There are 139 high schools in PA with hundreds of thousands of students, that are less than 50% proficient in Math, less than 55% proficient in Reading/English and a less than 10% CRI.