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.

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.

Anthony Bennie January 10, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Mr.Cirasuolo: Really? Have we learned nothing from this atrocity? So with proper training, you wouldn't have wanted the Sandy Hook principal, or other teachers or staff to have a concealed carry permit? What a different story may then have unfolded on that horrible and dark day. What does "use safely in a school setting?" even mean? As opposed to the "safety" of letting a psychopath walk in and slaughter 26 innocent people unopposed? The truth: buzzers and bulletproof glass in a few places at school entry points won't guarantee that any determined maniac won't get in, but the uncertainty as to how many qualified adults could be armed in any given school would change the entire equation. It's the only action that actually could STOP an atrocity while it is happening, as well as deter it. You could take every type of gun from every law abiding citizen, and guns will still exist and be obtainable by those determined to wreak havoc on innocent lives. No teacher should be forced to become an armed protector, but neither should anyone seek to prevent those who are willing to train with law enforcement from qualifying to carry. Just as no one knows when an Air Marshall is on a plane, similarly none of us need ever know which teachers, if any, at a given school are armed. That uncertainty would be more powerful than 100 ill-advised new laws restricting LAW ABIDING citizens from responsibly exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.
Ethan January 12, 2013 at 05:55 AM
A.B. "It's the only action. . ." Oh, really. Thought long and hard about this have you? There was an armed Sheriff at Columbine. More importantly, those murderers knew he was going to be there, but showed up anyway. Some deterrent huh? MORE GUNS is not the answer.
Jlo January 12, 2013 at 07:17 AM
Ok this is from the Connecticut against gun violence group meeting, they want to take our guns but this guy gets put back in school after he admittedly wanted to shoot up his school? Good idea! "Take the threats seriously," warned S. David Bernstein, forensic psychologist. Two months ago, Bernstein met with a 13-year-old student who had recently shown signs of violent intentions. The mother of one of the boy's social network friends saw photos posted of him online pretending to point a gun to his head, glamorizing suicide. She immediately notified the teen's school. The notification eventually led the teen to being interviewed in Bernstein's office, where he was asked questions intended to delve into his psyche. The boy had social struggles in school, was bullied by other students and called derogatory names, something many students face across America. But this boy had deeper emotional wounds than people realized. "It had a very satisfying bang," Bernstein quoted the boy as saying while describing the sound a booby trap made when set off in his backyard. (continued)
Jlo January 12, 2013 at 07:17 AM
He asked the teen if he had thoughts of retaliation against his bullies -- he did. Bernstein asked if he played violent video games; the boy did, a first-person shooter. One of the game's characters even looked like one of his bullies; shooting the character was a release, the boy said. Bernstein discovered the teen had a bag of bullets, but no gun to shoot them. It was "really hard" for the boy to get his hands on one, even online, the teen said. The boy was knowledgeable about various types of guns, and could define the differences between semi- and automatic weapons. He could also give the exact number of victims and those wounded in the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech massacres. His bedrooms walls were covered with photos of guns and ammunition. Online searches also showed the boy maps of his school's building, the teen said, showing its entrances and exits. "The only thing that was stopping him from shooting his school was access to a gun," said Bernstein. While a potential threat to students, the teen was soon allowed back to school, but this time with an assigned therapist and school counselor. After news spread about his issues, the school "rallied" around the teen, Bernstein said, and he is now receiving treatment to control his emotions.


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