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Connecticut School Leaders: Don't Arm Educators in Wake of Newtown

School officials from across the state met in a symposium this week to discuss school safety issues arising from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One take away from the meeting was that they don't want guns in schools.

 

Amid increasing calls to arm educators in the wake of the Newtown shootings, school leaders who met earlier this week in Southington agreed that guns have no place in Connecticut's schools.

The gathering of the Connecticut School Security Symposium on Monday in Southington drew more than 800 educators. The event was closed to the public, but a group of schools officials talked to reporters on Tuesday during a press conference in West Hartford, according to the website CT News Junkie.

In Naugatuck, the school board on Thursday implemented a 20-page policy on how to prevent gun violence in schools and what to if a shooter arrives in a building. 

Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, told the website that officials discussed a wide range of issues related to school security during the symposium, including how schools should safegaurd against tragedies like the Newtown shootings. Some of the issues covered, Cirasuolo said, included installing bulletproof glass in schools and improving buzzer entry systems. 

He said there was no single or easy solution to the matter of school security, though the education officials dismissed the idea of arming teachers or other school officials, the website reports.

“One of the things that was recommended against very strongly was arming teachers and principals, because when it comes down to it you can make sure somebody knows how to use a firearm — shoot it — but you need to make sure the person that has the firearm knows how to use it in a school setting,” Cirasuolo told CT News Junkie.

Terrie Hildreth January 11, 2013 at 03:00 AM
I'm just sharing my perspective on this subject. Had the first person to have encountered the perpetrator been armed, trained and fluent on the use of a fire arm it's very possible the person could have been able to take down the perpetrator before his or her gun could of been of any danger to staff or any students. But the mind set of the majority of people them selves not being fluent and familiar with the use and safety of fire arms, the idea then sounds inconceivable. It's the lack of knowledge we pay for not exercising our Second Amendment rather then just being sitting ducks in a known gun free zone. Again this is just how I see it.
Joe Tampellini January 11, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Their approach is not surprising. It is unfortunate and short sighted, and in the end, ineffective. Purely passive measures are easily worked around, even if it means driving an explosive laden SUV into the building. Depending on 911 response is futile - it simply takes too long. Situations like the Newtown tragedy are over in just minutes. The first line of defense has to be inside the building, and capable of enough force to deal with the perp while help arrives. And what is wrong with an armed police officer, even in uniform, in a school? It would lend an air of safety and confidence in the kids and the teachers that will never be there with just hardened front doors and buzzers. If school leaders are queazy about firearms, why not train and equip 5 or 6 teachers in every school with tasers? Ones that they carry on their person, not locked up in the principle's office. One shot from a taser might have ended the Newtown situation on the spot. If nothing else, tasers bring a capability to immediatly dealing with a situation that is otherwise simply not there.
Tax Man January 11, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Some say we don't want guns in the Schools yet the Police at the schools have them? These are qualified individuals that have been trained in firearms. Realistically by the time an armed intruder gains access to a Gun Free School it is only a question of how many casualties there will be by the time the Police respond. Do we want to find out again how long it takes and what happens in that timeframe? What we should have is a two part plan that first addresses the entrance of the individual in making it as reasonably hard as possible. The second part should be a plan on if the individual gains interior access and a defense is required .

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