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CT 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.

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.

Rob Gianazza January 10, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Then schools will remain defense-free zones. We went through this a decade ago with airline pilots. We should not be arming the teachers, principals, etc. I agree. No one should be forced to carry that responsibility. However, don't dis-arm them either. Anyone who has the legal right to carry in this state should not be forced to be unable to defend themselves. Their responsibility doesn't stop when they cross an imaginary threshold. It's not an all or nothing position. Many educators may not feel comfortable with firearms. That's fine. Some schools may have no one at all. But let's not infringe upon the right of the individual to defend themselves. The safest firearm is the one that's never seen.
Loving Mom January 10, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Totally agree Rob! These cowards continually pick gun-free zones, knowing honest people won't carry guns and the public is defenseless. So the public are sitting ducks in gun-free zones. I fully support a person who is trained, with a gun license, in our schools to protect our kids. It's heart-breaking our society has come to this, but this is where we are, and we cannot bury our heads in the sand and say "no more guns!" The guns are out there and always will be. Outlawing guns don't make them inaccessible to criminals, just to honest, law-abiding people.
Mary Davis January 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Gun free zones do not work...
Bobby Caselnova January 11, 2013 at 03:32 AM
I would normally jump into this and start saying a bunch of stuff, but the first 3 comments pretty much summed it up. Especially Rob, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Ken January 11, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Advanced security systems will be installed in all of the Brookfield schools. The news says this will include upgraded cameras, metal detectors, card locking systems for interior doors and video buzz in systems where you must be scanned by a camera, pass through a metal detector and could be held in a double door entry system. All of the single door entry points will be locked. The glass in these doors can be replaced with the the old style thick plate glass with a wire mesh in the center. Even if you broke the glass you could not get through the wire mesh in the glass. All of the double door systems I believe are being modified so a threat could be contained while trapped in between the doors. The containment would be that the inner door would be either a steel or bullet proof glass door. An enhancement that could be made to the double door containment system would be an ability to neutralize a theat held between the doors. This could be done by adding a remote taser, tear gas or pepper spray system.
Ken January 11, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Interesting thought about whether an employer can limit your right to defend yourself by banning weapons from the workplace. I do not believe the idea that if you have a carry permit your right to carry extends to and could supercede your employers rules. Employers set policies on many things including what you can and cannot bring into work. For instance, no drugs or alcohol on premises. There are of course also federal/state rules such as no smoking except outdoors. Can you imagine ANY employer with a policy that says: If you have carry permit, feel free to bring your loaded weapon into the work place? The reality is NO employer would be willing to take the liability risk of allowing guns in the work place. They could open themselves up to negligience suits if there were an accidental or worse a willful discharge of a fire arm in the workplace. Also, most insurers would not issue coverage when a review of the company policies showed that the employer allowed unrestricted guns in the work place. If it is decided that some type of armed presence in schools is part of the response in addition to the enhanced entry and security systems I believe guns should be limited to members of the police force who would be on the school grounds.
Andrew Turkenkopf January 11, 2013 at 06:09 AM
this is not needed. killings like this are far too rare. and this does little to stop it, someone can just use a different method . . .
Andrew Turkenkopf January 11, 2013 at 06:14 AM
to clarify security systems all have flaws. dont waste money in this manner trying to protect people from threats that dont exist to the extent people seem to think. I would list several other ways but i don't want to give anyone ideas. unless you are limiting all access to schools to a far radius,then its just smoke and mirrors. I think people are rushing to make decisions/
Loving Mom January 12, 2013 at 01:14 AM
Not all of what you say is correct - no metal detectors are planned, and 3m will be attached to the glass, not wire mesh. The inner doors will both be glass, not steel or bullet proof, and there is no plan to add a remote taser, tear glass or pepper spray system. All in all, any security system can be broken into. I can think of loopholes in all of this. To be proactive, you need personnel with guns. All this other stuff does (and I do think it's needed), is slow down an attack until the people with guns gets there. So why not just have the people with guns on the property to begin with? These attacks are not rare, they are happening weekly, whether it be at schools (there was another this week in CA), shopping malls, places of business and movie theaters. Unless they're nonexistent, we have to protect our children. Even if gun sales are greatly restricted, the number of guns on the streets have skyrocketed, and it will be a long long time before these attacks stop.
Ken January 12, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Why no metal detectors? Especially in the double door entry containment system area? In some schools I have heard of the students being wanded or having to pass through permanently mounted metal detectors every day as they enter. Why not a steel door as one of the two doors in the double door containment system? Even if there is a window in the steel door, glass with polycarbonate lamination is bullet proof. I saw a chart that shows glass resistant to 5.56, AR-15 rounds is available. Once school is in session all exterior and interior doors should be electronically locked. Only during class changes should class room doors be in an unlocked status. Once class starts the doors return to locked status. Interior school doors already have to be fire proof so they are metal. Doesn't that make them also bullet proof or substantially bullet resistant? I am guessing the window slots in classroom doors are also fire proof and likely bullet proof/resistant. I don't think a full time officer assigned to each school is realistic. Random patrols by the police could also be part of the security solution. However, I still think guns in schools or on school grounds should be limted to police officers. I think a strong security system in the building could provide enough layers of protection until police could arrive.
Rob Gianazza January 12, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Metal detectors only detect metal. They have limited functionality. They detect all metal, not just guns and knives. And the schools you speak of are most likely in heavily gang infested areas. Steel doors with polycarbonate glass? We're not trying to create a prison environment, it's a nurturing and learning environment. Re-read your proposals. Doors lock automatically when class starts? What sort of school environment are you proposing? I can only speak for Brookfield, but classroom doors are not metal, they are a fire-rated hardwood. Forgive me, but your proposal is conjuring up visions of students with crew-cut hair, uniforms and marching in precision. Please read the attached PDF in Brookfield Educators Outline Plan.
Bobby Caselnova January 12, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Rob is right. Especially with modern firearms manufacturers producing polymer frame guns, which can get through metal detectors with no problem. Glocks are probably the most widely known handguns which are polymer frame, and can be brought right through a metal detector. Not to mention everyone with a ring, belt buckle, rivets in their jeans, or any other piece of metal in their clothing or in or on anything in their pockets will create a delay when entering the school every day. A lot of kids at BHS would have set off metal detectors when I was there, so to check each of them for weapons would mean it would have taken well over 2 hours to get everyone into school in the morning. And if someone wanted to shoot the school up, they would avoid the metal detectors, or shoot the people guarding the metal detectors checking people who set them off. There's really no way to stop a crazy person dead set on killing others, especially when they don't value their own life at all and plan on dying. The only way to stop them is to make them die faster.

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