School safety: No backpacks, hoods
I propose we start with these three rules:
▪ Outlaw backpacks everywhere. Children went to school for decades without them and now people carry them everywhere. An exclusion for military.
▪ Outlaw "hoodie" sweatshirts. This may sound silly, but how many criminals and shooters are wearing these when they commit their crimes?
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▪ All schools nationwide should implement a school uniform policy by fall 2018 selected by a committee of students, administrators, parents.
Give them options: dress casual (khakis/Polos), an athletics option (shorts/school spirit shirts), or jeans and some shirt.
Why do football teams have uniforms? Because they are a team and they work together, just like our schools should be.
This might help stop the bullying that is often the reason for shootings.
Teachers can have uniforms as well.
There is a debate after every shooting about either taking guns out of people's hands or putting them in more hands.
I don't believe either will stop the violence.
—Laurie Jensen, Grand Prairie
School safety: Add metal detectors
None of the ideas seem to stop a gun-toting student.
One idea that I believe would stop about 99 percent of the violence would be to install metal detectors on all doors — including portable buildings.
—Shirley Wiley, White Settlement
School safety: No videos, mock guns
The violent videos should be taken away from children.
In the videos, children shoot and kill the same characters over and over.
Children do not realize death is forever.
Also, toy guns should not look like real guns.
—Lou A. Waddell, Granbury
School safety: Raise age, add locks
The most effective thing we can do is this: Call all your senators and congressmen and leave the message that you will not vote for any legislator who takes money from the NRA and thus refuses to take action on even the most basic gun control issues.
These include refusing to raise the age to buy a gun, banning semiautomatic rifles and bump stocks, increasing all background checks (even at gun shows and online purchases), reporting stolen guns, banning high capacity magazines, incarcerating anyone who doesn't lock up his gun.
If a politician thinks he may get voted out, he be scared to death and perhaps he will do what's right.
This year I'm only voting for politicians who don't support the NRA.
And while we're at it we should insist that violent video games be outlawed. There is something worse than censorship and that's a child shot and killed.
—Marcelle Borgers, Fort Worth
School safety: Watch red flags
One small solution may lie in spotting the red flags.
This “it won’t happen to us” mentality is a failure.
—Ed Bollen, Coppell
School funding: Stop the $$
For 40-plus years, some schools in Texas have been low-rated, yet we keep pouring millions of dollars into a system that doesn’t work.
Stop pouring money into schools until we find out why students aren’t learning.
A few months ago, when a student took a video of a substitute teacher using bad language, did you notice that student was the only one paying attention?
All the others were playing with their phones.
—Wanda Baker, Burleson
School funding: Make the poor pay
Our education system has grown so large and cumbersome that half our property taxes support the out-of-control bureaucracy.
At 81, why am I required to pay for someone else's education? Where is the benefit to me?
To make matters worse, most of the money never reaches the students anyway.
Simply put, it is pure confiscation of my money, which is what socialism is about.
It is time the poor share some responsibility for their own education and quit asking property owners to pay the whole price.
—Richard Rimestad, Fort Worth
Response: Judges pick appraisal boards
Your Sunday contribution was largely correct, but one of his concerns has been dealt with. ("Fairer property taxes begins with fixing appraisal boards," Rahul Patel, May 27)
Your contributor was concerned that the appraisal review boards were poorly trained and not impartial. He recalled when the boards were oftern appointed by, trained by and the district determined how much work the members were used/paid, by the county appraisal districts.
The latter issue has been corrected. The members are appointed by judges and are no longer "trained" by the districts.
I regularly appear before these panels and have recognized a sence of impartially, previously missing.
With his concerns about them being poorly trained to recognize and understand complex principles of value, I have more sympathy. Try to recruit 60 or so experienced real estate professionals to work for three and a half months a year during the summer.
The initial fix has gone a long way to improve the decisions. The review boards often demonstrate their independence and do not serve as a rubber stamp
—Tom Stroope, Bedford