Residents sound off on armed security in schools

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Suffield, Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Jan. 23, 2013
Marianne Kochanek. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Marianne Kochanek. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has stirred a nationwide discussion with regard to weapons, school safety and mental health. From PTA and board of education meetings to friendly conversation over a cup of coffee, people across the country are deliberating school safety to determine the best way to ensure students’ safety and well-being. School districts have given the question thought, with potential solutions to the problem including placing armed security in the schools or even allowing a teacher or staff member to conceal a weapon inside the school. The ReminderNews asked local residents, “Do you believe that teachers and school staff should be armed for the protection of students?” Following are some of their answers:

“I don’t think so. I think that there have been some terrible things that have happened, but percentage-wise in schools, I do not know what that number is, but it’s probably maybe 5 percent or even less than that. I do not want to teach our kids that they need to always be protecting themselves. I think that ensuring security and making sure that the protocols are followed and that people are smart enough to warn the school when there is an issue going on is a better way to take care of it.” –Marianne Kochanek

“Yes, I think that teachers should be armed in schools. If we have another episode like we just did in Newtown, then they will be prepared.” –Temika Husbands

“Yes, someone should be armed. Designate one person, because it could stop the person going in. From the Newtown thing, if someone had a gun they could have taken care of him first before he went in and shot 20 innocent kids and six teachers. You have to do an excessive background check, whoever is qualified to have it, just like air marshals; they have people on planes carrying guns now, why not have something? It took 9/11 for them to do that on airplanes, now all of a sudden they decide this isn’t the first time it’s happened in a school, so as a guy that carries a gun, I have my permit and own four guns. Guns don’t kill people; people kill people. It takes someone to load it and pull the trigger. We need more responsibility to take care of guns, lock them up, don’t take your crazy kid to the gun range.” –Andrew Davies

“No, I think that there are too many guns in society, and adding to the guns does not help. It’s more a case of leaving the guns to the police and the trained people who handle guns, like the Army. I am for fewer guns among the public. I realize there are hunters and other people who want guns, and as long as they are treated safely and carefully and they are not among the general population, that’s okay.” –Peter Macris

“I do not think that is going to be of any value. I think it is just going to perpetuate the use of weapons. I do not think that they should have weapons in the school.” –Ralph Ledoux

“No, I think that police should be in schools, maybe a couple if the schools are big. I think that a policeman has more experience with a gun than teachers, and I do not think that teachers want that responsibility. I think that children should absolutely have police officers in school, and they should not be afraid of police officers. Some schools have them already, and I think that would be the best thing.” –Ann DiLorenzo

“Absolutely not. It is not about having more guns, it’s about tightening the rules, mental health services, access to mental health services, identifying people, taking personal responsibility for people in your own family and people you know that are having trouble and doing something proactively before things happen.” –Brenda Skorski

“No, they shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. My first thought would be, what if a child got a hold of that? Are they going to be able to guard that gun? I just don’t think it’s the same message we’re putting out there, we are trying to stop gun violence and then we’re going to put guns in the hands of our teachers. I think that children will think the only way to protect yourself is guns and violence. Protect violence with violence? I don’t think so.” –Nicole Goold

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