Community Weighs in on Arming School Employees

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

In a Washington radio show, Governor Bob McDonnell talked about discussing arming school officials on Tuesday.

"I know there is a knee-jerk reaction against that, but I think we should have a discussion of that, Gov. Bob McDonnell said.

He said it could be one of the ways to prevent school shootings.

"If people were armed, not just a police officer, but other school officials that were trained and chose to have a weapon, certainly there would be an opportunity to stop aggressors trying to get into the school," Gov. Bob McDonnell said.

Vivian Shepard said she wouldn't mind if school employees were armed.

"As long as they're properly trained I think it would be okay," Shepard said.

He said it could be one way to prevent tragedies like the one in Connecticut.

"If a person was armed and trained, could they have stopped the carnage?" he said. "Perhaps."

For Shepard it would make her feel safer.

"If something like this does happen, you can't just ignore the problem because it's not gonna go away, you kinda have to plan for it, just to make yourself feel safe. So i feel safe sending my kids to school," she said.

Harrisonburg public schools superintendent Doctor Scott Kizner said guns are not the answer.

"if we get to the point that employees have to be armed is a really sad day for Virginia, it's a really sad day in America," he said.

Right now, McDonell said the state employs resource officers, but they're unarmed.

He said that's something he wants a task force to evaluate.

"My hope is that we're not at the point where when a little first- or second- grader comes into school, the first thing they see is a police officer with a gun," he said.

For Dr. Kizner it would be better to see police, not staff.

"We have people who are trained with guns, they go through training, they could identify, they know how to react, they're called police officers and they do a great job," he said.

He said the government should discuss gun control is not the overall solution to fight violence.

According to McDonnell there are other key elements, such as access to health care, personal responsibility and overall health of our culture.

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