Also in Letters to the Editor: City has created a mess on Florida Park Drive.
Flagler County School Board headed in wrong direction
It is not surprising to read that the Flagler County School Board opted NOT to participate in the Guardian Program to protect each of the public schools in the county.
For those of you not familiar with the Guardian Program, guardians are armed school staff members who work with law enforcement to prevent school shootings. Florida created the program after the 2018 school shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The Guardian Program was presented to the School Board during an August workshop at the request of School Board member Jill Woolbright.
Sheriff Rick Staly was on board with the program and attended the workshop.
In order to reserve grant money from the state to pay for training and supplies to get the program started, the Sheriff’s Office needed to apply for the grant by Sept. 15.
This application would reserve a spot for Flagler County for the money, but the board would still be free to turn it down if they decided not to participate.
Unfortunately, three board members didn't event want to apply for the grant money (Colleen Conklin, Cheryl Massaro and Trevor Tucker)!
Woolbright was the only one who wanted to move ahead with the grant application and Guardian Program. (Board member Janet McDonald was not present).
In a still surprising election, Jill Woolbright lost her seat on the board, so now the School Board will be able to show their true colors and let you all know what their priorities are!
It is unbelievable that the board would not consider adding such a valuable program to the Flagler County schools.
Forty-six out of 67 counties in Florida already have the Guardian Program implemented in their schools.
To say they weren’t sure they could be ready to add it this school year shows the priorities of this board. Children should be their top priority — their safety and academic learning.
As I previously wrote in a letter to the editor, it is clear academic learning is not a priority, with about 50% of all students not even being at grade level in English/language arts and math.
Now, it appears safety is not a priority either!
Editor's note: The School Board is planning to have further workshops about the possibility of implementing the Guardian Program in the future.
City has created a mess on Florida Park Drive
The nightmare on Florida Park Drive still exists. A portable light system or flag men to single-lane traffic could be possible, but city officials decided to close down the street for months instead.
A hardship detour through Farragut Drive at 20 mph, sharing the narrow road with children on their bikes and dog owners walking their pets, is dangerous.
The intersection to Old Kings Road and Farragut is dangerous, as well. Turning toward the Island Walk shopping center is extremely dangerous for everyone.
Many other issues have developed, as well. Please get Florida Park open with at least one lane as soon as possible. Citizens in the F and C Sections are disgusted with the city for its poor judgement of having everyone being shoved round with a very poor detour.
Remembering post-9/11 unity in our divided times
Every Sept. 11 is a stark reminder of who we lost. But the horrific acts 21 years ago also brought on and coined the term “War on Terror.” It reshaped not only our national security policy, but our overall sense of well-being.
That day probably forever moved the world into a darker place, but, as wars have a tendency to do as a side effect, it also brought on a sense of unity and national pride and galvanized our country against a common threat.
It’s sad to see the unraveling of that sense of unity. It’s disconcerting to witness a shift of focus by federal law enforcement agencies and the intelligence community from international terrorism to the newer threat of violent domestic extremism, often driven by politics.
Maybe it’s time to resurrect the post-9/11 lesson, when we came together. The threat to our nation was real 21 years ago. This time, the danger is from within and the threat is to a fundamental cause, democracy itself.