PIQUA – As is the case with many people across the nation at present, thoughts about gun control, school safety were in the forefront of Frank Patrizio’s mind on Thursday evening.
In the wake of the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting, Patrizio, a member of the Piqua City Schools Board of Education, gave a statement early in the board’s monthly meeting expressing his concerns about assault rifles and semi-automatic gun ownership.
“I preface my remarks by stating that what I am going to say is my opinion and not the opinion of the Piqua City School Board,” he began. He went on to reference the Parkland tragedy, in which 17 people died, as well as the Las Vegas massacre that left 58 dead. “I know of at least two people from Piqua who were at the Las Vegas shooting. Therefore, don’t think that these issues will not affect people from Piqua,” Patrizio said.
Patrizio derided as “ludicrous” statements by National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre that Democrats are exploiting the Florida deaths and pushing a socialist agenda.
“Most Americans, including myself, whether Democrat, Republican or Independent – and not a socialist – have no problem with people owning guns, ordinary rifles and pistols for their protection or hunting or other enjoyment,” he said. “I personally am not opposed to people registered as collectors with vigorous background checks having semi-automatic and automatic weapons.”
What he does oppose, Patrizio said, is the proliferation of assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons with “no other purpose but to kill mass amounts of people” being available for purchase by the general public. “How many mass shootings does it take for so-called leaders to act? I thought when 20 first-graders were killed by a lunatic in 2012, Congress and state legislatures would have the guts to enact laws that could prevent further killings. It did not happen,” he said.
Patrizio also chided the NRA for “opposing any common-sense legislation to restrict gun ownership by claiming people like me will take their Second Amendment rights away.”
In closing, he implored residents “who are tired of these killings to contact their legislators” and ask them to enact “common-sense laws regarding gun ownership.” Additionally, he said those who donate to the NRA should abstain from doing so until the organization also adopts a common-sense approach toward gun ownership.
Patrizio’s statement can be heard in its entirety online at www.piqua.org/Boxcast.aspx.
The remainder of the meeting covered fairly routine ground, with a few noteworthy developments.
Chief Financial Officer and Board Treasurer Jeremie Hittle reported that the school district has received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for having a clean audit report. Piqua City Schools is just one of five districts in the state to receive this honor, according to Board President Andy Hite.
It was also noted that PCS is currently scheduling appointments for kindergarten screening and registration for the 2018-19 school year. Any child who is 5 years old by or before Aug. 1, is eligible to attend kindergarten.
Screenings and registration will be held at the following locations, dates and times:
• Washington Primary School (937) 773-8472 — Saturday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 17, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
• Springcreek Primary School — Saturday, April 14, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 19, 4:15-6:15 p.m.
To register your child, you will need: a certified birth certificate, immunization records, the parent/guardian’s photo ID, proof of residency, custody papers if applicable, and a physical by the first day of school.
In addition, the board approved the district leaving the Greater Western Ohio Conference (GWOC) effective at the end of the 2019-20 school year or sooner if by mutual agreement and form a new conference made up of Piqua, Sidney, Troy, Vandalia Butler, Fairborn, Greenville, Tippecanoe, Mad River Stebbins, West Carrollton and Xenia.
Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said a new conference would allow the teams to “get back to more comparable competitions,” as opposed to vying against much larger districts. It would also reduce traveling time and costs, thus leaving a “smaller footprint,” Thompson said.
The board of education’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 22, at Piqua Central Intermediate School.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at email@example.com or (937) 451-3341