Armed security guards at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset....

Armed security guards at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. The Smithtown Central School District last week became one of the latest districts to announce it plans to hire armed guards for its schools. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Spend school guard money in better way

The Smithtown Central School Board, known for protecting our children from critical race theory, LGBTQ notions of sexual identity and COVID-19 mask mandates, has just voted to place armed security outside of every school building [“Smithtown to hire armed school guards,” Our Towns, Feb. 16]. This is all about education, right?

The shootings at Parkland, Florida had armed security stay outside, and Uvalde, Texas, had its own police force eventually reinforced by local, state and federal officers. They cowered in the hallways during the massacre.

If there are lessons to be learned, it’s that an intruder on a suicide mission, armed with tactical gear and an AR-15 rifle that can fire off hundreds of rounds per minute, is not going to be foiled by an armed guard.

Maybe the money could be better spent on school psychologists.

— Louis Vincents, Smithtown

What is happening to America when we need to hire armed school guards to protect our children? Will we next require all schoolteachers to carry weapons? And the janitors and other school workers, too?

After reading almost daily about our young students being murdered, the arming of all of America is just a matter of time.

— Thomas W. Smith, Riverhead

Graham and Laura Otton are concerned that their children “will be in the proximity of firearms” at school [“Doubts about armed school security,” Opinion, Feb. 13].

Asking the school board to provide evidence that this may provide a safer environment for our children defies logic.

Anyone who would attempt to harm or maim would be met by trained professionals. These professionals may not be successful, but then again, I believe an attacker would think twice.

— Anthony Bordano, Middle Village

Make lawmakers see crime scenes

Maybe legislators have to experience something in order to understand it “Mourning for slain students,” News, Feb. 15].

After the next mass murder, particularly if it is in a school, I suggest the following steps be taken:

Leave the crime scene intact. Lock it and keep security guards there 24/7.

Bring to the scene legislators who always vote “no” on proposed gun safety measures.

Make them see what first responders see — the blood-soaked victims, our children.

Make them be the ones to break the news to the victims’ families.

Many lawmakers have forgotten why they are lawmakers. But people who lived through these events have not forgotten.

— Naomi Berman, Commack

Not too long ago, a mass shooting was such a shocking event that it would get coverage around the clock. Now, a mass shooting seems to be business as usual and has lost its horror.

I’m so tired of people defending their rights to carry guns at the expense of the rights of people to live unafraid. I honestly feel like I’m being held hostage in a society that refuses to respect my right to peace of mind.

— Linda Honig, Plainview

Suffolk bus camera fines a big cash grab

Suffolk County’s bus camera tickets are indeed a cash grab “Suffolk rolls in green; some drivers see red,” News, Feb. 6].

It’s bad enough that Long Island is now littered with red-light cameras in Nassau and Suffolk counties, all in the name of “safety.” But, now, if a motorist happens to pass a school bus on the other side of a wide street, boom! You’re hit with an oversized fine of $250.

Here’s my recent experience on Main Street in Huntington. Unbeknownst to me, a bus on the other side of the street must have just stopped, and I was ticketed as the stop-arm was still deploying.

The company behind the program, BusPatrol, is getting 45% percent of the ticket revenue. Really? That seems high.

Let’s investigate how BusPatrol negotiated such a sweetheart deal with Suffolk. If the county is so concerned about kids’ safety, maybe use bus monitors at each stop to make sure the street is safe to cross.

Maybe I’m just skeptical, but I think the county’s bus camera program is more about generating revenue than keeping our kids safe.

— Alan Krawitz, Westbury

I received a ticket for passing a school bus when its stop sign was out. But this infraction did not happen. It was 7:30 a.m., and the bus had pulled over onto the shoulder on Ocean Avenue. It did not have any flashing lights. When I reached the front on the bus, the driver flipped out the stop sign. There was no warning.

So I started my own investigation. Every morning on Ocean Avenue, a bus had pulled over onto the shoulder. This bus sits there every morning, waiting. I have also witnessed buses that drive on Ocean Avenue for blocks with flashers on.

I believe before tickets are given out, the bus companies need to properly train drivers on how to use their lights and stop signs. And they should also have undercover observation.

— Carolyn Chiovaro, Ronkonkoma

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