Publisher’s Perspective: We need to protect our schools

Posted on 31 January 2013 by LeslieM

Appropriate personnel should be armed and assigned the responsibility

The first time I had to fire someone (it was for drinking alcohol on the job while running heavy machinery), I was told by the recipient of the firing: “You can’t fire me!”

My father, who owned the company and had taken a well deserved vacation, had let everyone (about 20 employees at the time) know that I was “in charge,” and asked them all to cooperate with my leadership.

I knew that one of our main foremen had a drinking problem, and sometimes drank an alcoholic lunch. My father knew it, but put up with it for some reason. I was not inclined to do so, and asked Dad to tell him in my presence not to be drinking while I was “in charge.”

Dad had only been gone a few days when I smelled booze on the foreman’s breath. I immediately told him to go home and not come back until he could follow the “no drinking on the job” rule. He refused to leave and brought the other foremen over to confront me and back him up.

After a short heated discussion, I told them both that since Dad was gone, I was the only one who could sign the paychecks, and I didn’t intend to sign any for either one of them, so they may as well go home. They both stormed off alter inquiring when Dad would be back.

I then called a general meeting of the rest of the work force and explained that I would temporarily be doing the job of both the foremen, and asked everyone to cooperate. They did, and by the time Dad got back, I had identified replacements and restructured our workforce in a positive way.

Dad was pleased, as though I had taken a couple of thorns out of his side, and he didn’t hire either one of them back.

What has this got to do with protecting our schools? Nothing, except for the good management principle of solving problems as they become obvious.

Today we have a problem of providing security for our schools in a cost-effective manner.

Why don’t we seek out teacher volunteers who can be armed and specially vetted and trained to provide security at our schools? They would be “on call” within the school as needed, and receive a modest “bonus” for assuming that responsibility.

We tried it at our company, and it worked well.

David Eller, Publisher

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