Sour grapes candidate trashes positive move to make children safer

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(The following is in response to a letter from March 9:

Kate Matteson, the executive director of the Sussex County Democrat Committee, still can't get over her defeat as a candidate for Assembly last year. As a result, she has taken a predictably negative view of anything done by the victors in that contest -- Republican Assemblymen Hal Wirths and Parker Space -- and their running mate, Republican state Senator Steve Oroho.

It is unfortunate that Matteson lacks the graciousness to work with Oroho, Space, and Wirths to help protect our school children from violence. If Matteson could put aside her sour grapes for even a minute, she would realize that people from both political parties and activists on both sides of the debate are coming together in support of hardening classroom security.

Numerous media outlets have reported on the technological advances to make classrooms safe from an armed attack. Even measures that "buy time" would be an improvement over our current model for dealing with an armed intruder, which is to lock an often flimsy wooden or composite door, gather the children into a corner, and then shield them with a teacher's body.

I applaud the work of Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths in researching this and coming up with a better way forward. Bullet-proof locks and steel doors anchored into structure will save lives if an armed intruder comes looking to harm our children. Better a steel door than a teacher's body.

Jerry Scanlan,

Chairman, Sussex County Republican Committee

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