EDITOR: Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recently published a manifesto advocating a number of changes to improve school safety from armed intruders. The last one — “increase funding for school security” — in particular should be actionable, and I doubt that even the most dedicated right-to-bear arms advocate could object.
I have been a high school classroom teacher for nearly 40 years, recently substituting in four local school districts. Every plan I have seen for dealing with an armed intruder on campus first specifies that the classroom door be locked. However, while there has been some improvement over the past few years, every one of these schools still has classrooms that cannot be locked from the inside without use of a key.
In the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007 and in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shootings this year, brave faculty members and students have been killed or injured while attempting to lock the door to exclude the assailant. This may have been the case in other incidents. Innocent people seeking refuge should be able to secure a classroom easily and quickly without incurring personal risk.
School boards and state legislators should mandate that all classroom doors be secured with inside activated locks not requiring a key. Who could possibly object?
EDITOR: Sonoma County becoming the “Gateway to the Emerald Triangle” wasn’t what I anticipated when I voted to legalize cannabis. Does Sonoma County want to embrace that type of clientele and tourism?
Living here for the past 30 years, I’ve seen a healthy rivalry between Sonoma County and Napa County for the best wines, food and tourist destination. Having read The Press Democrat’s business section on April 1 (“Chronicling change”), I noted that “the cannabis business has essentially been shut out in Napa County.” According to author James Conaway, “It brings a whole different clientele. Tourism in Napa is really important to everybody. Cannabis brings a different kind of tourist.” Is it time to tell our supervisors, “No, we do not want pop-up pot farms in our neighborhoods”?
EDITOR: Where have I heard this before? An unarmed Sonoma man was killed by Tasers while restrained (“Man restrained by police dies,” March 30). A little more than a year ago, Branch Wroth was Tasered to death by Rohnert Park cops while he was handcuffed. When are our public servants going to figure out that Tasers are lethal? A 2017 Reuters investigation discovered that 1,005 people had been killed by Tasers since 2000. In 9 out of 10 cases, the deceased was unarmed.
Cops should read the manufacturer’s warnings on Tasers: “Tasers can cause cardiac arrest in perfectly healthy subjects, and subjects with elevated heart rates associated with drug use and extreme exertion are especially likely to suffer from cardiac arrest and — if not treated immediately — to sudden death.”
PIETER S. MYERS
Sheriff and immigrants
EDITOR: As sheriff, John Mutz would work with the immigrant community, through the community advisory council of the county’s Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach as well as through advocacy groups and individuals, to fashion a policy that takes SB 54, the California Values Act, as a starting point but goes further for minimal contact and collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Mutz understands that local sheriffs and police have no role in enforcing the immigration laws, which are civil laws and have a federal agency to enforce them.