Kent could be the first town in Connecticut to go beyond school resource officers and active shooter drills when it comes to school security.
The Board of Selectmen is going to present a plan that would allow guns in the classroom.
“Basically we’re talking about arming teachers or administrators,” Selectman Jeff Parkin said.
Parkin is pushing an Ohio based program called Faster Saves Lives. It arms schools with a plan for what to do before police arrive. The program would give teachers training and access to a trauma kit. It would also allow volunteers, who would remain anonymous, to carry weapons at school.
“It’s actually pretty simple,” Parkin said. “If you have the ability to stop an event and save lives even after the event began with the trauma training why would not do it?”
Parkin says it could have a big impact on small towns like Kent, who has a resident trooper, but police are not always close. He says it might not prevent future tragedies, but it could help minimize the damage.
“In my view if this program had been adopted in Newtown, it would have been a different outcome, still a bad outcome, but a different outcome,” Parkin said.
For parents, it is a sensitive subject filled with controversy and concern.
“It is absolutely not the answer,” Dana Benton said. “I think it’s going in the wrong direction and it’s disheartening that they are even considering it.”
“I don’t want my child’s teacher to have a gun and I don’t know a lot of teachers who would want to have guns,” Joel Baglia said.
The Kent Board of Selectmen voted 2 to 1 in favor of presenting the plan to the Board of Education, who will ultimately decide. They chose not to comment on the program until it is presented at their meeting in March.
Kent Center School is a K-8 school with roughly 235 students and 25 faculty.