CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Opinion

December 30, 2012

Sleeping with my shoes on

CULLMAN — My aunts and uncles like to tease me about how, when I was a little girl, I wanted to sleep with my shoes on. I liked shoes then, and — like many girls — I like shoes now. It seems that, as a two-year-old, I liked shoes so much that I didn’t want to take them off at night when it was time to go to sleep. And so, when I see cherished family members, I am often teased about the shoes I have on, and I will be asked if I will be sleeping in my shoes that night. 

More and more, and this week, in particular, it seems that school leaders are, metaphorically speaking, sleeping with our shoes on. Never before has there been a greater sense of urgency for superintendents and principals to be focused on school safety. We have to be ready or “have our shoes on” at all times. Our attention oscillates between important issues such as safety, weather, academics, extracurricular events, special education, business matters and personnel. But, student and staff safety is the most important area.

It has been an evil, nightmarish week for those in Newtown, Connecticut. And, it has been a hard week for all Americans and Cullmanites as we explore the myriad faces of evil in our society, and our unified desire to shield our children from its angry hands. Jesus, the Master Teacher, said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10) We acknowledge that evil wishes to steal, kill and destroy, and yet, we do not wish to live in a police state. We know that there are no certainties in our world – no perfect fix. But, as Chief Culpepper says, we should plan for the worst and pray for the best. 

The support realized this week, and always, from Mayor Townson and the City Council, Chief Kenny Culpepper and the Cullman Police Department, parents, and others has been amazing. On behalf of the Cullman City Board of Education, principals, faculty, staff and students, thank you. Chief Culpepper, thank you for increasing school patrols, and placing a police officer at each of our schools this week. It was comforting, and it was appreciated by all.

The Cullman City Team is working together to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible for our deserving students. We hosted safety meetings this week with Chief Culpepper, principals and others, and we discussed ways to tighten security in our schools. Parents and citizens have offered to help where needed. City officials are looking for ways to support our schools. We began the process last month to hire a school psychologist to help meet the needs of our at-risk students. You can be assured that we will be “sleeping with our shoes on” as we go forward in our quest for safe and orderly learning environments for our students. Educators everywhere solicit your prayers of protection, wisdom and comfort today, and always. 

* Dr. Jan Harris is superintendent of Cullman City Schools.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Primary shows maturity, will of voters

    With the local Republican Primary wrapped up, the outcome of three races may have seemed surprising to some observers.

    July 22, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Judge makes the right decision

    Many people are closely following the case of Jay Maynor, the man charged with murdering a man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

    July 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Truth and independence

    Somewhere along a colonial road between Lexington and Concord, Americans found their courage and resolve to become independent.

    July 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Taking charge with a vote

    The Democratic and Republican primaries arrive Tuesday morning across the state, with many election officials and candidates fearing a low turnout could be in store for what otherwise should be cause for a great gathering of citizens.

    June 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A state dying from drug use

    Alabama coroners, with the power to order and log results of  toxicology reports, hold the key to important information for families and law enforcement officials.

    May 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Looking beyond the standard

    Cullman County schools superintendent Billy Coleman opened a wide door of opportunity when he supported a transition to an appointed executive to lead the local education system.

    May 20, 2014

  • Editorial: Meal money violates trust

    As various local political candidates dash toward the June 3 primary, a troublesome issue remains unattended on the table.

    May 11, 2014