Is It Time To Arm School Administrators? Newtown Tragedy Pushes Envelope
TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES
HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The shocking Newtown elementary school tragedy has some calling for extreme measures — like giving principals guns.
While some applaud the idea of arming administrators, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported Monday that others say guns have no place in schools — no matter what the circumstances.
On the fateful day Adam Lanza took 26 lives, including the unthinkable mass murder of 20 small children, the victims were defenseless as the gunman did what he wanted. The teachers couldn’t stop him, nor could the Principal Dawn Hochsprung.
Now, a Texas congressman is saying Sandy Hook’s principal should have had a gun, herself.
“I wish to God she had had an M4 in her office locked,” said Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert. “So when she heard gunfire she pulls it out and didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he could kill those precious kids.”
PHOTOS: Newtown Shooting Victims
Few, if any, area schools have armed guards. Despite that, the head of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisor’s Association said arming administrators is opening Pandora’s Box and is hardly a predictor of safety.
“Principals do not need to be armed with guns,” Patricia Wright said. “It could put children in a worse situation, endanger them even more. Even the best of plans may not have worked, but the principal having a gun may not have worked either.”
Outside one Hoboken elementary school, where the flag was at half-staff on Monday, some parents praised the idea while others scoffed at it.
“I think it’s a good idea as long as the principal is trained on a gun,” Mike Casazza said.
“They will be prepared to shoot and protect the children,” Lisa Mosco added.
“No one should be carrying guns just for protecting because she can’t protect everyone,” Jean Rivera said.
“There shouldn’t be guns in the school, period, because it don’t matter, you can’t predict who’s going to do what,” Susie Burgos added.
A stark lesson learned on Friday when the unthinkable happened to the innocent.
Exclusive: N.J. To Release Training Video For Teachers
Even before the tragedy some local authorities were concerned about school safety.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has been working on a video to show teachers and students what to do if a shooter walked into their school, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported exclusively on Monday.
The training video for teachers and members of law enforcement has not been released, but it is something the Bergen County prosecutor wants every district in his county and across the state to show its educators.
“I want the educators to see this type of video and to know that the law enforcement, they are being the same way they are,” Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
The prosecutor’s office has been working on the video for the past year and a half, and, ironically, the final cut was completed on Friday, the day of Lanza’s rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“The first thing is to make sure that everyone in the building knows that there is an active shooter is present in the building and then do not engage that active shooter. Lock the door, put something in front of the door, close the blinds, put the light out and go to a far corner,” Molinelli said.
The training video shows educators what they should and should not do, including, as painful as it sounds, locking the door for anyone except law enforcement.
“You always need education and you need it again and again,” Bergen County Executive Kathy Donovan said.
The video was shot at New Milford High School using money seized from drug raids. It is expected to be released to teachers in February.
What do you think? Should teachers be armed? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …