Residents offer their thoughts on armed security in schools

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Jan. 15, 2013
Robin and Brenden Wheland, Windham. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Robin and Brenden Wheland, Windham. Photos by Melanie Savage.

The school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has inspired a nationwide debate regarding weapons. School districts across the country are discussing school safety, and struggling with decisions regarding keeping students safe. Among the common suggestions has been the placement of armed security within the schools, whether via security guards or police officers. Some have even suggested allowing teachers to carry weapons to school. The ReminderNews asked local residents this question: “What is your opinion regarding armed security in public schools?” Following are some of their answers:

“I’m 50-50 on it. If there’s an armed security guard, the first person they’re going to take out is the security guard. And if they were so concerned about what was going on in schools, shouldn’t they have done something about it a long time ago?” -  Brenden and Robin Wheland, Windham

“They should have some kind of security. Fire stops fire. There’s already always somebody around from the military, somebody with training. Teachers licensed to carry should be able to carry to school. Uniforms would also make it easier to identify students and teachers. Just like in the military, uniforms help to identify one group from another.” – Julio DelValle, Willimantic

“It depends on if the people are capable of being armed. Right now, I could go get a permit and carry a gun. I would feel more comfortable if it was someone with more training, like the police. It has to be somebody trained if they’re going to be in the school. It’s also important to lock doors and have security cameras at the schools.” – Rosa DeJesus, Willimantic

“I would not object if there were a police officer in a school who is trained in using weapons and is trained to work with kids. I don’t think it’d help much. But if it would make people feel better, that’s a good thing. I don’t think arming teachers is a good idea. As a teacher myself, I would not want to be required to carry a weapon.” – Jamie Eves, adjunct faculty in the history departments at UConn and Eastern

“It’s more about the ability to react in a situation within the classroom. So if there’s a guard who is available to react, I don’t even know if the guard needs to be armed. Just a uniform with a badge to have a presence. Somebody of authority. Just somebody of authority is probably a good idea.” – Ethan Drew, Mansfield

“Why escalate the amount of munitions out there? And who is to say a teacher feels safe or comfortable with a firearm on their person?” – Merle Potchinsky, Willimantic

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