Every community must decide how much to invest to make their schools safe. No place wants to be host to the next national tragedy.
On Nov. 6, those who live within the Findlay School District will weigh in on Issue 5, a 1.5-mill property tax that would generate $1.2 million a year for five years.
The money would be earmarked for school safety and security, and would pay for six school resource officers, for more counseling and mental health services, and for security equipment and training throughout the city school system.
It’s notable that the City of Findlay is partnering with the schools, and has agreed to contribute $350,000 each year toward the cost of employing the resource officers if the issue passes.
The cost for district property owners would be about $1 a week for a property with a market value of $100,000. We believe the investment is a small price to pay for safer schools and the peace of mind it will bring. We encourage voters to approve it.
Nothing, of course, can guarantee that problems won’t ever occur at a city school, even if the levy is approved and the extra officers are added to the district’s existing security force. But it will certainly make it less likely that a tragedy will occur here.
Just adding resource officers will serve as a deterrent by providing a greater law enforcement presence in city schools. But another component of the plan may do as much, if not more, to protect students.
Issue 5 will also provide major funding to allow the district to increase counseling services for students who may have behavioral issues, are being bullied, or may be experiencing problems at home.
The partnership between the district and city government is significant. Both the schools and city will benefit by having more officers available for emergencies — whether they occur at a school or elsewhere in the city. Sharing the cost of employing six full-time officers makes sense for everyone.
The best thing that can happen if Issue 5 is approved is for the plan to be implemented, and no major incidents to ever occur. If so, that would be the best $6 million investment the community ever makes.
It’s impossible to put a price on a life, let alone on peace of mind. One way or another, Issue 5 will benefit the entire community — not just students and teachers.
Win or lose Nov. 6, school and city officials made the right call by taking a proactive approach to an issue every school district dare not ignore. Imagine the finger pointing and blame that would come if a tragic incident occurred under their watch and they had not done everything possible to make schools as safe as possible.
We urge voters to say yes to Issue 5.