What Will it Take to have Resource Officers?
By: Rachel Kauderer
Judy Kauderer has been an elementary school teacher for over 25 years. She has had a passion for teaching ever since she was teenager, instructing dance classes at her local competition studio.
“I have always loved teaching,” Judy Kauderer said. “Although some days can be hard, it has always been worth it when I can make a child smile or the other way around.”
Kauderer has been in tune with the violence that has been portrayed in our public-school districts. Though she considers to be a mother to her two children first and foremost, she puts on her mama bear attitude everyday as she walks through the doors of Court Street Elementary.
“It’s amazing how fast you can develop a love for a child,” Kauderer said. “My job is not only to teach them but to protect them and love on them as if they’re my own.”
In today’s culture, we are having to take extra precautions in order to keep children and teens safe in school. It’s the new norm to practice active shooter drills and even weekly lockdowns.
“I don’t even remember doing lockdowns with my kids when I first started teaching,” Kauderer said. “It’s just like how I never locked the doors when I left the house when I was younger, you just didn’t have to.”
Lieutenant William Gummo has been employed with the Lancaster Police Department in Buffalo, New York for almost 16 years. According to Gummo, the need for resource officers in public schools are at an all-time high, with very little funding provided to not only their district, but many others across the state of New York.
According to Edward W. Hill, “The price of implementing the NRA’s proposal to place an armed security guard in every school building in the nation is nearly $13 billion a year.” The estimated cost for school taxpayers can reach almost $23 million per year.
“I believe that every public school should have resource officers,” Lieutenant Gummo said. “I don’t know what the costs would amount to, but I rather pay than to get a phone call that my kid was killed.”
The Lancaster school district has been having their teacher’s poor their own time and money to collect materials, in order to protect themselves and their students. Judy Kauderer has spent hundreds of dollars on doorstops and customized locks for the safety of her classroom. Her school district, does not reimburse for this material.
“I have spent over $500 on protection for my classroom. My school will give me a budget on pencils and crayons, but not something to help save a life.”
Lieutenant Gummo has an interesting solution for the placement of resource officers, rather than having to experienced police officers of the street.
“Thousands of military vets come back to the states unemployed and looking for work,” Gummo said. “Our best bet could be hiring past military members because they have just as much, if not more training than police officers have.”
According to Lieutenant Gummo’s wife, Amy Gummo, time is crucial to start protecting our loves ones. When we first start to care is when it’s already too late. Lieutenant Gummo’s final solution is turn to prayer and trust God to put a hedge of protection around his loved ones every day.
So, what is it going to take? No matter how many people there are to interview, no one wants to spend the money, but everyone clings to hope and prayer that their loved one’s in school aren’t up next. Is it just one cost that will help prevent unlimited violence in our school districts?
“You know, it’s always sad and all you can do is pray for the families,” Gummo said. “At the same time, it’s time to get angry because we all wish someone could be there to do something about it.”
“Well if $13 billion is what it takes to keep our students and societies safe….,” Kauderer said. “There’s a lot of money in the government that gets wasted so maybe we can cut some of those programs and put it towards saving lives.”