* When I think about this idea, the image of Barney Fife comes to mind. Over-eager and far from well-trained…
School board members in a central Illinois town are thinking about arming and training a handful of administrators as auxiliary police officers so they can carry guns on campus.
Washington police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker says training Washington Community High Schools administrators as officers is a way around Illinois’ law against carrying concealed weapons. The chief and school Superintendent Jim Dunnan talked about the idea after December’s school shootings in Connecticut and presented it to a parents’ group last week.
They’re talking about 40 hours of initial training. Would we send a lone cop out onto a beat with just a week of training - particularly in a sensitive area full of kids?
Schools in the town have long had an armed officer on campus, but [Council President Kim Brownfield] says that “does not suffice.”
“These [shootings] are happening and we all hate it, but you cannot stop an intruder who forces [his way] through the front of a school building unless you’re going to stop him from within,” she said.
Unarmed people who attempted to stop the killing in Connecticut were killed, but an unarmed teacher stopped the recent California school shooting.
* No action was taken last night…
District 308 School Board members on Monday agreed that a plan to train and arm Washington Community High School administrators should continue to be explored.
But their approval came with the caveat that further research into the plan devised by Police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker and Superintendent Jim Dunnan must be part of a broader discussion of improving high school security.
“We don’t have an agenda and we’re not looking for attention. We just want to be transparent and do all we can to avert a tragedy at the school,” said Kuchenbecker, who presented the plan to the board and more than 100 audience members.
“It would be irresponsible for us not to explore every way possible to provide the safest environment we can for the students and staff.”
I don’t doubt the sincerity of the effort, nor the fear among parents. I just doubt the mechanics of what they’re considering.
I’m also quite open to being told how and why I’m wrong here, but with a reasonable and calm explanation. So, have at it, but take a deep breath first. I’m beyond sick of the overly harsh comments on gun threads. I have a little time on my hands today, so I’ll be deleting and banning the jerks on both sides.
The grade school massacre in Newtown, Conn., has spurred Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to schedule a statewide summit on school safety.
Educators, law enforcement officials and school management groups from around the state have been invited to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency headquarters Jan. 22 for a four-hour discussion on how to keep schools safe from violence.
The summit is just one part of the governor’s response to the killing of 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Quinn earlier called for a state ban on the kinds of semi-automatic weapons used in the shootings. He also directed the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and other state agencies to review existing programs for student protection and determine whether improvements can be made.
“A critical part of this review is to bring together subject matter experts in the fields of public safety, education, mental health, and law enforcement to address the short- and long-term efforts needed to safeguard our schools,” Quinn said in a Jan. 10 letter inviting various groups to the meeting.