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Safety at school: Will more trained, armed officers help?

Among the proposals to improve safety in schools President Barack Obama unveiled this week, was a plan to put $150 million toward hiring as many as 1,000 additional school resource officers, psychologists and counselors in local school districts.

Shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings, the National Rifle Association called for an armed guard in every school in America. You can find a transcript of the group’s announcement by clicking here.

School resource officers are trained police officers who are utilized in school districts across the country. Some local school leaders see the plan as a way to help increase safety while dealing with difficult budgets.

Brendan Murray, a member of the Harrisburg Board of School Directors, pointed out the district cut seven security positions in this year’s budget, saving $114,000.

“In light of everything that happened with Sandy Hook, (we need) to make sure everything with security in our schools is perfect. As best as we can possibly make them, that’s what we need to do because our first goal is to make sure that they are secure in school. Then, we can educate,” said Murray, who disagreed with the security cuts his district made.

But, some parents question whether more guns will help.

“I wouldn’t want an armed guard at my child’s school just because the armed guard could be crazy. You don’t even know nowadays,” said Shirley Rozankowski, who has a seven-year-old daughter.

The National Parent Teacher Association released a statement after the President’s announcement Wednesday, saying the group “praises” his gun violence prevention agenda. But, the group takes issue with the expanded use of school resource officers.

“As the President conveyed in his remarks, our number one task, as a nation, is to protect our children. To achieve this, National PTA believes schools also must be completely gun-free.  The Administration’s recommendation to expand the school resource officer program therefore comes as a disappointment,” the statement said. You can read more by clicking here.

The Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Justice Policy Institute criticizes the use of school resource officers, saying its research doesn’t show a link between the number of officers in schools and kids’ safety. The group points out schools with officers are more likely to see kids arrested and put in the juvenile justice system for minor crimes. You can read the group’s report here.

Fox43 viewers have been weighing in our Facebook page (join the conversation by clicking here), and some see the idea as a clear way to improve safety.

Jeannine Guyer Forsyth said, “Yes, it would make it safer. Someone would think twice about attacking a school with an armed guard.”

Ricki Diehl added, “I would take armed, trained guards over metal detectors any day. There is no right way to go about this. Half of the population will be unhappy either way.”

Some viewers doubt the effectiveness of armed guards.

Wendy Morales said, “If someone wants to get into a school, or theater, or your home, and they are desperate enough and in a state of mind they don’t care, they will find anyway possible to do what they want to do.”

Jennifer Bolton Unitt added, “The thought of it turning to a shootout at schools does not sit well with me.”

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

6 Comments to “Safety at school: Will more trained, armed officers help?”

    Guest said:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Just keep in mind that these mass shooting have all occured in gun-free zones. Coincidence? Bitter cowards will continue to find a means to exact their revenge — we must keep them in check.

    HowIgnorantRU? said:
    January 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Only police officers have training on how to handle shootouts and criminal activity. Teachers do not and will never have authority to do police work because they are NOT POLICE OFFICERS. It's a general waste of tax money to try to chase or deter potential criminal activity when there is no credible threat. The very idea of raising taxes for unvalidated resources is anti-Rebublican.

    Should we have traffic cops at every traffic light because someone could go through a red and kill others? Ok, that's really going to stop the crash and it'll deter anyone driving drowsy or drunk or while texting from entering intersections with traffic cops stationed there.

    Securing the school buildings has been working. Doors are no longer left open. Tightening procedures such as sign-outs from parents among other things has resulted in much lower abduction rates. Banning bookbags and wearing certain items inside the building are also rules that hamper internal violence with weapons. The external violence…no glass doors is one way. Guy at Sandy Hook blew his way in through a door, right?

    Come on people. A clever teen deciding to make a move would do so when any armed officer is in some other part of the building. Most likely the kid is suicidal anyway and does not care. Arming the teachers? Whatcha gonna do when some shootout results in ballistics showing that teacher bullets killed some innocent kids? Hang the teacher is what. Hey, don't forget about us school bus drivers. We have 60 kids behind our back. We need guns too. Oh, but wait. There have been recent cases where bus drivers were arrested for having a gun on the bus.

    guest said:
    January 19, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    umm… so having DHS, FEMA, State & Local law enforcement officers training at Sandy Hook on the exact same day under Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP) as a Full Scale Exercise (FSE) apparently has so many people fooled into believing they need to forgo their rights & freedoms for some sort of false sense of security. All I can say is wow! People really need to open their eyes & wake up to see what is being done to them & for what reason… could it be to push a certain agenda?

      HowIgnorantRU? said:
      January 19, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Who's foregoing what rights and freedoms?
      What is being done to whom and for what reason?
      I'm not sure what the "certain agenda" is either.

      The only agendas that I know being discussed is 1) governments trying to reduce the legalization of weapons and ammunition types used in quick mass murders without belittling the second amendment. and 2) the NRA considering any changes in weapons laws to be an attack on the second amendment and an attempt to take away arms you already own (a form of terrorism because it invokes fear and terror albeit falsely)

      OMG, if I cannot have a string of 100 rounds that I can wear around my neck then the constitution will fall and Armageddon is here!!!!!!!! Aaaack! American life is doomed I tell ya.

        guest said:
        January 19, 2013 at 11:21 PM

        #1 – who's foregoing? LEGAL gunowners…
        #2 – what's being done…? Proven staged events by DHS, FEMA, etc – backed by liberal media biased – do a little research (hint – start with DHS's website & look for HSEEP) – they were indeed in Sandy Hook at the Fire Station – go look up HSEEP & crisisactors.org for yourself!
        #3 – ANTI-GUN agenda to those that can see past their fears
        Some more fun facts for ya… ANY attempt to attack the 2nd Amendment is indeed an attack on legal gunowners RIGHTS – NOT priveledges! Shall we attack your rights of "Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, etc..?? What seems to make you think that those are off limits, but not the 2nd? As far as the NRA & your feeble attempt to associate them to domestic terrorism is laughable at best! What's interesting & obviously over your head is the fact that govt agencies were indeed engaged in Full Scale EXERCISES (drills at the school the very same day) to practice active shooter SCENARIOS & both the media and your govt. used this to advance their anti-gun agenda by falsely reporting this drill as a real event when indeed it was NOT! So who exactly are the REAL domestic terrorist? The NRA for standing steadfast to protect our God givin' rights to use whatever means necessary to protect ourselves & our families or the Federal govt. & the DHS, FEMA & the complicit media that you obviously shill for?
        As far as somebody taking away my guns… I don't own any, so no skin in the game buckwheat – nice try there skippy – thanks for playing! I just see things for what they really are & vehemently call a liar exactly what they are… a liar!

    moving home said:
    April 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Nice job, its a great post. The info is good to know!

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