KENT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP)– Officials in the town of Kent, Connecticut, have voted to move forward with a plan that advocates believe could save precious lives if a gunman enters a school.
Kent Town Selectmen voted 2-1 on Wednesday to present information about the “FASTER Saves Lives” program to the Kent Board of Education.
Kent Town Selectman Jeffery Parkin said the board will ultimately decide whether to implement the program at the pre-K through eighth-grade Kent Center School, but also said the concept of teachers roaming the halls with guns strapped to their waist is simply not the case.
“Conceivably the gun or guns could be locked in a safe somewhere where they could be accessed relatively quickly, and again we’re talking about a minute access time versus ten, 20 minutes for police to arrive,” Parkin told WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau.
The nonprofit Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response program would provide trauma kits and firearms training to school personnel in the event of a hostile act or intrusion.
The program would also allow anonymous volunteers to carry weapons at school. It offers 26 hours of training during a three-day class in Ohio.
He said town-wide sentiment about the program is mixed, but that the school board may start discussion on it next month.
Guns in classrooms has been a highly-debated topic in recent years. The nation was shocked after gunman Adam Lanza stormed into Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012, killing 20 first-graders, six educators, and himself.
Other proposed recommendations to improve classroom safety include safe school design and operation strategies and closer coordination with law enforcement, mental health experts and security professionals as a way to help make safer school environments possible.
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