“I cannot in good conscience, wait for another student to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I will not wait for tragedy to force this government into action. The only question we should be asking about Untalan Middle School, or any school for that matter… it should be clear: are we putting student safety above cost?” stated Governor Calvo in his weekly address concerning the Untalan Middle School move. We commend Governor Calvo for making our students’ safety a priority and developing solutions to address the safety of the students in all the schools. With that in mind, we ask that Governor Calvo make it a priority to fully fund DOE so that we have enough school aides on campus. It was just a couple of years ago when a student died from a fight that occurred at Southern High School. Had there been more school aides present, the tragedy of Jeromy Newby would have been prevented. Cutting the number of school aides and having teachers assume some of the responsibilities of supervising students during lunch, break, before and after school has been one of the plans that DOE officials have wanted to do to help cut costs. This isn’t exactly putting our children’s safety first. For years the union has stressed the importance of having enough school aides on campus, but year after year their jobs always seem to be at stake. We hope that Governor Calvo, education officials and our legislature can continue developing solutions to address our children’s safety and start coming up with ways to fully fund education.