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Security forum a good decision

We can think of few subjects that concern parents more than school security, which is why we expect an open forum on the topic planned tonight by the Argyle school district to draw a good crowd.

Superintendent Telena Wright said the security discussion, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Argyle High School auditorium, will look at courses of action such as arming district staff, hiring a school resource officer or armed security guards and increasing security with upgrades to district facilities.

It will also provide an opportunity for the public to offer input on the courses of action presented, she said.

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment for the students is of paramount importance,” Wright said. “I would like everyone who’s a parent, community member or staff person to feel welcome and encouraged to attend.”

We think Wright is absolutely correct, and we commend the Argyle school district for scheduling this session.

Such ideas as arming district staff are hotly debated topics right now, and parents deserve to hear what their school officials have to say on the subject.

But more important, school officials have a responsibility to hear what parents have to say about arming school personnel and other security concerns, and unfortunately, this is the part of the conversation that typically gets lost in translation.

Some officials don’t have a problem with giving their opinions, but they are often reluctant to allow parents to do the same.

Wright told us those who attend tonight’s meeting can expect to see the common vulnerabilities of the district, what was learned from a recent risk assessment of Argyle facilities and recommended courses of action for enhancing security.

The district hired Craft International LLC of Dallas on Jan. 29 to conduct a risk assessment known as “Not On My Watch” of all its facilities. District officials say Craft International will give a presentation and offer recommended courses of action.

Greg Coker, who will make the presentation for Craft International tonight, said he intends to give an overview on what his group offers and why.

The presentation also will look at statistics of school shootings.

The purpose of the presentation is to educate people on capabilities to ensure safety of students and faculty and also offer courses of action for ensuring safety, Coker said.

We encourage Argyle school district parents to attend tonight’s session to hear the presentation and offer their opinions on this vital topic, and we urge Argyle school officials to pay close attention to what parents have to say.

We also believe that other school districts should consider similar public meetings if they haven’t already met with parents about school security.

Providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students is a responsibility that’s too important to neglect.