Prioritizing student safety

Safe schools are topic of great interest and concern. We are blessed to live in one of the safest states in the country. Unfortunately, the world is getting smaller, and we cannot take chances with our children by assuming that a school shooting won’t happen here.

That is why I have introduced legislation, LD 1182, An Act To Improve School Safety by Requiring Law Enforcement Visits.

This bill requires that a public school be visited at least two times per week by a law enforcement officer from the state police, a county sheriff’s office or a municipal law enforcement agency when that public school is in session. Visits by law enforcement officers must be unannounced and occur at varying times of the day and week at each public school. The county sheriff’s office is responsible for coordinating these visits.

This approach is already being undertaken in Hancock County, under the leadership of Sheriff Scott Kane. Working with our sheriffs, we can increase random visits to Maine schools, at least once a week to coordinate with local personnel and share safety tips.

My bill does not create a new bureaucracy or cost a lot of money. It is a modest approach that allows schools to choose to participate and spread best practices throughout Maine. The safety of our children should be a priority.

Rep. Sherm Hutchins


Presidential experience

I would like to find a presidential candidate who sometime in her or his life was poor.

Charlie Cameron


Prioritize vaccines

In recent weeks, we have heard from citizens and organizations all over the country about the importance of vaccines. It’s a critical issue: Vaccine-preventable diseases result in 1.5 million deaths globally each year.

Measles was declared eliminated from the Americas in the year 2000 — but now we are again facing outbreaks and tough choices about vaccine exemptions because unvaccinated Americans are traveling overseas and bringing the disease back with them. It is more important than ever to contain these threats before they reach our shores.

But consider also the less-obvious ways vaccines keep our population safe: Healthy countries are stable countries that are less likely to foster terrorism. Disease outbreaks disrupt national economies, jeopardizing international trade and investment opportunities. It wasn’t long ago that South Korea was on the receiving end of foreign aid; now they’re one of our strongest trading partners.

As we enter World Immunization Week I hope everyone statewide will join me in calling upon our congressional delegation to prioritize funding for global vaccine programs. We all have a responsibility to keep our population healthy and ensure every child has a shot at a healthy life.

Ashley Daigle


My forgotten ancestor

History is full of misidentified heroes, and BDN editors are to be commended for attempting to set the record straight on their Patriot’s Day editorial on April 15 by noting the important contribution of William Dawes to Paul Revere’s ride.

Unfortunately, they only partially corrected the record, leaving out my ancestor, Samuel Prescott. On his way home from a late-night visit with a Lexington clockmaker’s daughter, Lydia Mulliken, Prescott learned that Revere and Dawes were spreading the word of the British advance and soon overtook the pair. Revere, in the lead, was soon captured and Dawes turned back. Prescott attempted to aid Revere but had no weapon to fend off the four men armed with pistols and swords. Jumping his horse over a stone wall, Prescott, who knew the country well, sped off and completed the ride to Concord, spreading the alarm begun by Revere and Dawes.

Prescott later joined the revolution and served at Ticonderoga in 1776, where he was captured and hauled off to Halifax, dying in prison an unsung participant in a famous ride. A fuller account of Prescott’s contribution can be found in a 1956 New England Journal of Medicine article.

Richard Jagels