KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Lea Kucherovsky's daughter, Cadence, is only 15 months old. Already, the Overland Park mom is thinking about Cadence's first day of school, especially after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I started thinking what it would take for me to feel safe sending my daughter to school. Having a trained, armed police officer at the school during school hours is the solution. That's what would make me feel safe," Kucherovsky said.
Because not all schools have a police officer inside the building, Kucherovsky and several other parents have started an online petition hoping to accomplish that goal.
"We have so many wonderful people in our schools to help our children. We have our principals, our teachers, our custodians, our cafeteria workers. Why not a trained officer?" Kucherovsky asked.
Stacy Williamson agrees.
She is vice president of the Missouri State Teachers Association, and also a middle school teacher in the Kansas City metro.
Williamson said she has never felt like she or her students were in danger in the classroom, but does think it is time every school steps up and adds more police presence, no matter the extra cost.
"Many of us already have school resource officers, and they do a great job, but there's nothing that says we couldn't have more, or better coverage," Williamson said. "Our children are one of a kind. They're unique beings. They're a gift. You can't replace your children. I don't think any price is too terribly high."
If safety at schools is not improved, Kuchervosky said she may be forced to change her mind about sending Cadence to school. She said it is a decision she never thought she would have to make.
"It hurts me to say homeschooling might be an option if we don't beef up the security in the schools," Kuchervosky said. "I feel like it will be a huge loss for my daughter, not to experience school every day, and meeting new kids, along with field trips and teachers. So many important bonds are made in schools, but it has to be safe."
What do you think? Join the conversation on our Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/c8sq7qo .
To see the online petition, visit http://wh.gov/RSb7 .