It is a modest step, but a constructive one. Following the shooting deaths of 20 first-graders and six staff members at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December, the nation began a dialogue on school safety that unfortunately was taken to the extreme by the National Rifle Association. The NRA wanted no gun restrictions, of course, but armed guards in all schools.
Thankfully, North Carolina’s Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has taken a more sensible path. Last Tuesday, the governor announced the establishment of the Center for Safer Schools, headquartered in the state Department of Public Safety, which will spend time gathering information about school safety from law enforcement, school personnel and communities.
McCrory also, rightly, emphasized the need for more and better mental health counseling in schools, something he indicated would be a priority. He did not point to more security guards as necessarily the solution, although the discussion remains open.
The governor made his announcement at Apex Middle School, and by calling attention to the issue, he sends a good and positive signal about determining the right priorities in a thoughtful fashion.