School started again and with it came the reams of paperwork that explains all the workings of an elementary school. There’s the emergency contact form. There’s the early release procedure in case of inclement weather or other problems. There are departure and arrival rules. What is not there is Governor Pat McCrory’s School Safety Initiative.
You remember that? When he was fired, er, when he resigned, former Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan cited it as his key accomplishment and McCrory praised him for his work. Unfortunately, there’s no sign of it.
The whole thing started in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre back when Pat McCrory still thought he was leader of the Republican Party. McCrory called for a review of school safety procedures. In March, he and Shanahan rolled out the Center for Safer Schools and, in conjunction with his Republican full employment program, hired Supreme Court Justice Mark Martin’s wife, Kym Martin, to head up the program.
Shanahan and his pal and chief Deputy, Sonny Masso, headed out across the state, holding forums and town hall-style meetings. They were going to have a big report in May and have procedures in place by the start of the school year.
So what happened? Well, for some reason, Shanahan and Masso suddenly and mysteriously resigned at the end of July. Maybe it was those pesky “business” interests that Shanahan cited as the reason for his resignation. Because, you know, making money is far more important than protecting our kids. Business stuff has to do with free market solutions while schools are just another big government program.
So where is it, Governor? Maybe you were too busy getting rolled by the legislature to stay focused on this program. Regardless, the idea was good but the follow through sucks. It’s kind of a metaphor for your whole administration.
You were going to come into Raleigh to fix all that was broken but instead you became a spectator as the legislature broke all that worked. Instead of addressing the cronyism that you deplored as a candidate, you embraced hiring unqualified campaign hacks and giving them big raises.
You’ve made it a habit of saying anything that sounds good whether it’s true or not. You weren’t going to sign abortion restrictions but you did anyway. You went the the Moral Monday rallies all the time except that you really didn’t. You never met with the sweepstakes dealers, but actually you did.
Is that what school safety is to you, Governor? Just another thing that sounds good but in reality is too hard to do? It’s time for you to follow through on something and start to regain the credibility you’ve lost. School safety is a good place to start.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >