Archived Story

The governor should listen to Franklin County

Published 6:00am Saturday, March 9, 2013

I was in disbelief when Gov. Bentley vetoed a bill from Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow and Sen. Roger Bedford that would allow Franklin County to set up school security forces.

The hypocrisy in that is so thick you could cut it with a knife!

Rep. Morrow wrote this bill after talking with local leaders, parents, and educators to determine what the best solution was for Franklin County.

It is the total opposite of how the governor and legislative leaders in Montgomery passed the so-called school “Accountability Act”.

The “Accountability Act” was written in secret without any input from the public or education professionals.

The governor even cut out his own education advisors, the state school superintendent and the Association of School Boards.

He never talked to a single teacher or parent.

Now this same governor vetoed a bill that was supported by educators, school administrators, local law enforcement and parents because he says it is “unreasonable.”

What in the world is he thinking? Does he really not understand the hypocrisy in what he is doing?

The governor actually had the nerve to compare what this bill would do to a random person on the street practicing medicine!

His exact words were: “You don’t get somebody just off the street to treat your congestive heart failure when you’re sick, so why do you get somebody off the street to protect you with active shooters?”

And, yet, that is exactly what the governor did on the school Accountability Act.

He kept his own superintendent of education in the dark and ignored the opinions of educators, school administrators, the School Superintendents Association and the state Association of School Boards.

When the governor was practicing medicine, he didn’t want other people telling him how to diagnose a patient, but he seems perfectly content to tell teachers and school administrators how to run our schools and teach our students.

And perhaps if the governor had actually read the bill he would have known that these volunteers for the school security forces would not be some random person walking around the schools with a gun.

These volunteers would be selected by local law enforcement and trained to become reserve police officers and deputy sheriffs.

Not random people on the streets, but trained law enforcement officers!

Gov. Bentley needs to leave education to the educators, and stop assuming he knows better. He has already shut out his own State Superintendent of Education on the school “Accountability Act” and now he is shutting out local leaders, teachers, administrators and law enforcement because the governor thinks he knows better.

In his own words, “You know the Legislature sometimes gets excited. And sometimes they try to be relevant. And sometimes they will come up with some crazy bills. We don’t need to be crazy about this.”

Gov. Bentley needs to understand that local leaders know what is best for their area.

He should be listening to law enforcement, educators, local elected officials and leaders like Senators Roger Bedford and Tammy Irons and Representatives Johnny Mack Morrow, Greg Burdine and Marcel Black.

I urge everyone who reads this to contact Gov. Bentley and ask him to stop the hypocrisy and listen to the people.

The politicians in Montgomery should let Franklin County decide what is best for Franklin County.

      Lance L. Latham

                                               Chief of Staff

       Office of the House Minority Leader

                                             Montgomery

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