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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials July 24, 2014

5/2/2013 8:07:00 AM
Editorial: Clarkdale-Jerome might be best to follow Foist example
Tim Foist
Tim Foist

Before the Clarkdale-Jerome school community embarks on a discussion about the merits of a closed campus, school officials might be better off taking a page from the Tim Foist playbook.

Before Foist arrived at Mingus Union High School, the school board and community tried the public process on closing the campus with mixed results. Opinion was varied and the community was divided.

At one point, the school board voted to close the campus, but a week later a school board member was successful in thwarting that decision.

Then, the school board hired Foist. In short order, he determined the campus was not safe. Further, students were coming and going like water leaking through a rusty pipe. He fenced off the campus and installed security cameras throughout. Today, we all have to admit the school, its students, and the community is better for it.

They probably won't build a statue in honor of Tim Foist when he soon retires from Mingus. And, there are those who say he is like a bull in a china shop. But the bottom line is that he has been the most effective Mingus superintendent in the post-Ron Barber era.

Yes, he probably was guilty of ignoring public process when he made the call to fence off the Mingus campus and enhance school security. But sometimes it's better to have a leader who is willing to take that gamble and do the right thing for the right reasons. You can apologize later ... with tongue firmly in cheek.

The issue for Clarkdale-Jerome is a similar one. We're not living in the same era where schools are a community gathering place 24-7. Campus security is a crucial issue whether it is a rural or urban school.

So, do you talk the issue to death?

Or, will a leader step forward and do the right thing for the right reasons?

Related Stories:
• Should Clarkdale school campus be closed?

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: Newtown School Was Also Locked-NoGun Zone...And Then....

the shooter shot his way into the school building
knowing that it was a gun-free zone and shot
many teachers and students.

As soon as the shooter heard the police in the
school area he shot himself.

The lesson learned is: go ahead and have locked
building,...,etc. But forget the notion of "gun-free"
zones. School board (and the legislators if need)
should allow for roving armed guard and also for
school employees to pack.....This will give a
message to any would be shooter to not to pick
their school(s) for shooting.

There is not abolute perfect solution...so lets
move forward with common sense.

Posted: Friday, May 3, 2013
Article comment by: No Public Process?

So Clarkdale-Jerome should just do what they want and, like Mr. Foist, do it without a public process? I can imagine the Editor howling if any governmental entity did that on an issue he/she didn't agree with. To take C-J school to task for instituting a public process is ludicrous - the editor should be ashamed. Think about when a "leader" becomes a tyrant.

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