Knee-Jerk Reaction Further Burdens Schools

Florida’s Jessica Lunsford Act, signed by Jeb in May and set to go into effect Sept. 1, rode the express lane through the Legislature. It won unanimous support just over a month after the girl was found murdered by a sex offender. Now school officials are wishing the bill had taken the scenic route instead.

St. Augustine Record:

The law requires those who prey on children under 12 to be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison and, if they get out, to be tracked for life.

It also requires that all people entering schools (when children are there) have background checks…

The law means garbage men, repair men, food deliverers, construction workers, tutors, members of the media and the like will have the go through extensive evaluation before they can proceed in their purpose…

“(We) have to re-fingerprint (employees who had it done) within the last five years,” [St. Johns County School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph] Joyner said. “We have to go back and fingerprint our employees that haven’t had it done. It’s a cost we’re going to have to bear ourselves.”

There is an additional cost of $6 per year, per person, to have the fingerprints stored. The school district has 6,000 employees…

Joyner assured that implementation into the school system is going to be difficult, especially immediately. “We probably have 1,500 vendors … different people we write checks to,” he said.

For vendors, fingerprinting is $56 each time it has to be done, which will be covered by the organization the visiting individual is associated with.

Lunsford, it should be noted, was abducted from her home, not from her school.

Why are so many of these fights taken to the public schools? These new security mandates, which will likely only be followed by law-abiding citizens and therefore not save one child from Jessica Lunsford’s fate, join others, like having an American flag in every classroom, that are someone’s idea of The Way Things Ought to Be. Instead, they place ridiculous burdens on the system and divert energy and resources from the long ago purpose of schools: education.


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