Monday, January 28, 2013
Poll: Teachers Oppose Carrying Guns on Campus
By Jacqueline Rabe Thomaswww.ctmirror.org
Teachers overwhelmingly oppose having its workforce carry guns on campus, according to a poll of 400 teachers released today by the state’s largest teachers’ union.
“We are just very, very heartened by the fact that teachers do not want their schools turned into fortresses. They want to have the ability to teach free of any potential violence in their building,” said Mark Waxenberg, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association.
Of the teachers surveyed from from different schools across the state, 85 percent oppose allowing teachers to carry guns in schools, 3 percent support having the option available to teachers and the rest did not respond. Of those teachers surveyed, nearly 1 in 5 have a gun in their home. And 77 percent of those that have guns are against arming teachers.
Current state law allows teachers and security staff to have guns at school if “school officials” have granted them permission. Connecticut is one of 18 states that allows certain people to carry weapons on campus, according to a investigation done by NBC News U.S. News World Report.
Click here for more of story
Comments: Comment Policy
I didn’t think that anyone except law enforcement was allowed to have guns on school grounds. The only reason I could think of a teacher having a gun on school grounds would be if they were teaching a hunter safety or some kind of gun safety class.
Sec. 53a-217b. Possession of a weapon on school grounds: Class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of possession of a weapon on school grounds when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so, such person possesses a firearm or deadly weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, (1) in or on the real property comprising a public or private elementary or secondary school, or (2) at a school-sponsored activity as defined in subsection (h) of section 10-233a.
(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of a firearm (1) by a person for use in a program approved by school officials in or on such school property or at such school-sponsored activity, (2) by a person in accordance with an agreement entered into between school officials and such person or such person’s employer, (3) by a peace officer, as defined in subdivision (9) of section 53a-3, while engaged in the performance of such peace officer’s official duties, or (4) by a person while traversing such school property for the purpose of gaining access to public or private lands open to hunting or for other lawful purposes, provided such firearm is not loaded and the entry on such school property is permitted by the local or regional board of education.
(c) Possession of a weapon on school grounds is a class D felony.
The way I read this I’m not thinking teachers carrying guns.
I’m not sure what the legislative intent is but…
Sec. 53a-217b. (b) (a) (1) sounds more like if a hunting safety class is being taught or if a veteran’s group or some other group is giving a presentation. When I was the President of the Westport Kiwanis Club we did a pancake breakfast at Bedford Middle School (now Saugatuck Elementary) before the Memorial Day parade. Some of the veterans were marching with what I’m assuming were functioning (though hopefully unloaded) rifles. I’m assuming this would apply to them.
under the same subsection (2) I’m assuming that this would be in regards to a parent who wanted to have armed private security on school grounds.
My wife is a special education elementary school teacher. I’m a strong gun rights person. I have a handgun permit and own weapons. I don’t want my wife to carry a gun while teaching. If it’s determined that the risk is so high that someone in a school needs to be armed it shouldn’t be the teachers. At the elementary school level there is so much physical contact with the young children that there is more likely to be an accidental dropping or discharge of a weapon.
John, I would agree with you. Although I do not believe the idea is to mandate that teachers be forced to arm themselves, the thought is to allow those that wish to, do so. What is still more disturbing and will be downright criminal if, God forbid, another incident happens, is the fact that there is still a reluctance to “fortify” the schools to ensure a more secure environment. This is such an easy task, one has to wonder why we have allowed the pendulum to swing all the way to the other side by going after guns rather than doing something that is actually doable. The only thing that comes to mind is the political opportunity this tragedy has brought to the table. When you witness all the nonsensical stuff coming out from the federal, state and local lawmakers, it is very hard to ignore Rahm Emanuel’s now infamous statement, “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.”
I do think that the schools in theory can be “fortified” and you would never know it.
Seven or eight years ago I went to a Westport school to visit a friend who was an administrator. When I went to open the front (all glass/plexiglass) door I realized I had to be buzzed in. I hit the buzzer and the school secretary said “Can I help you?” I said that I was there to see (I’m not going to name them here). She said come in and buzzed me in. Not saying that criminals or crazy people dress a certain way but I was wearing a navy suit and it was winter so I was wearing a black topcoat when I came to the school. My friend asked me how I got in the building and I told them I was buzzed in. He/she was really mad I got let in. I guess because I looked like a “normal” Westport person I was allowed in. I guess if I looked “abnormal” they would have turned me away. I was also looking at a glass front door that I don’t think would have stopped an “abnormal” or deranged person.
My roommate and good friend from college’s father is a retired U.S. Army colonel who now works for the State Department designing U.S. buildings overseas. Sometimes he’s on the Discovery Channel programs for security and the State Department. When he/they design buildings they are fortified/armored but you would never know it from looking at them. I have no idea of what it cost s but it seems that if we can invest in out overseas building that we should be willing to invest in out local schools.
You build in layers of security. If needed, you could prevent anyone from coming in. But in reality, all youi need to do is delay someone from getting. Of course, if someone allows a person to gain entry simply by the way they appear, then nothing will work, so a big part is training administrators to follow the rules and regs. Something that is easier said than done.
Next entry: An Elusive Consensus on Guns After Newtown
Previous entry: Bridgewater Move from Westport Drawing Skepticism
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport