"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
Following December's horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, there's been a lot of talk on how to prevent future such tragedies at schools across the nation....
Everything from gun bans to arming teachers and building fences around school grounds.
Well, we're glad to see that North Carolina may soon be putting some of that talk into action.
House Bill 452, or the "2013 School Safety Act," allocates $34 million dollars to increasing personnel, hardware, and planning at schools of all levels across the state.
The bulk of the money would go to hiring school resource officers to help increase security.
Funds would also be used to hire school psychologists, guidance counselors, and social workers – a step aimed at identifying and helping troubled youths before they turn violent.
And $2 million each year would go for installing panic alarm systems.
House Bill 452 does have a few catches though…Local school systems must match the state funding – either $1 for each $2 provided or one-to-one depending on the provision.
This is also just a two-year plan.
Still, North Carolina's House Bill 452 is being hailed as one of the most comprehensive plans in the nation.
We applaud the legislators for taking quick and firm action to help make our schools safer.
Our children deserve no less.
Because WBTV is "On Your Side," we encourage everyone to "Speak Out" – tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.