There’s much to like here, and Governor Cooper seems to have hit all the buttons, no doubt hoping to please people both on the Left and the Right. School mental health counseling might well help to identify problem students who could pose a security risk at the school. But then what? Nikolas Cruz was identified as a problem by mental health professionals, but no one took any steps to arrest him or institutionalize him. And we know what happened there.
Another of his proposals seems to suggest that henceforth new SROs (School Resource Officers) will be armed! It’s about time. Years ago, when my children were in the NC public schools, they were protected by an unarmed SRO. This was after Columbine, and I remember wondering what, exactly, this guy could have done had someone entered the school with a gun, of any kind, other than call for backup.
The budget provides $7 million to increase the state allotment for school resource officers from $35,000 to $50,000 per high school, designed to cover the actual cost of hiring armed officers to patrol those schools. Another $3 million would go toward grants to hire such officers for elementary and middle schools.