In a 9 to 0 vote last night by the Region 10 District Board of Education, students now share the halls with armed security guards this year. Officials from the district have said they believe this will enhance security across the district.
They said the location of the schools and the response time to a possible active shooter motivated the change.
Natalie Kiernan was raising her children in Fairfield County when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened and said she had concerns about security guards being unarmed.
She said she believed they were “sitting ducks.”
“I thought, this [security officer] is great, but when it comes to what happened in Sandy Hook, how is he going to fight that if someone is shooting through the front door?” she said.
The change in Region 10 schools eases her concern.
“When I heard that this was the school to start it,” Kiernan said, “I thought we came to the right place.”
Jay Warner, who was dropping his two children off at Har-Bur Middle School Tuesday, also said he welcomes the change in safety.
“If you just look at the way the school shootings go, and our police protection in town, I think it’s a level of protection that we need,” Warner said.
In June, parents received a letter saying the armed security officers are retired state and local police officers who were retrained and licensed over the summer.
“I think it’s a good idea that it protects our kids,” Preston Coates, the father of a Har-Bur middle school student, said, “and I think it’s something that unfortunately needs to be done.”
The district is also training volunteer staff to administer first aid as part of the “Stop the Bleed” program.