EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Should there be more armed security guards in schools? That is the question being asked Monday night during a public hearing in East Hampton.
Members of the Board of Education in East Hampton stated they are considering adding armed guards to school properties in the wake of a series of mass shootings. So far, East Hampton public schools only have one armed security guard posted on campus.
The town is considering having armed security guards at the two elementary schools, Memorial School and Center School, as well as East Hampton Middle School.
Following the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers died, public schools across the nation have wondered about the benefits of arming school security.
Now, the board at East Hampton is considering adding armed school resource officers to campus, which are current police officers or they may add armed security officers, which are retired police officers.
“I have mixed feelings about it. I want the children to be protected, but my personal views lean more towards gun safety, less guns,” said Nicole Scanlon, East Hampton parent.
The board said it wants to hear from parents about this hot-topic issue, specifically those with children who attend Memorial School, Center School, and the middle school. They will be holding a meeting at the East Hampton Town Hall at 6 p.m. on Monday evening.
“Given the situation at Robb Elementary School, our Board of Education is considering armed security at our other three schools,” said Superintendent Paul Smith.
While parents are encouraged to speak their minds to the board, officials said they are asked to limit their comments to only three minutes.
If the town decides to add armed security it could cost $150,000 for the three additional officers.
“It would either take a special appropriation from the town or we would add to next year’s budget and begin with armed security in September 2023,” Smith said.
A survey is also being sent out to Kindergarten through 8th-grade parents.
In Connecticut, Lyme-Old Lyme, New Milford, Middlebury-Southbury, Montville, and Putnam have also approved adding armed security in their schools.
According to state law, armed security officers in schools have to be retired police officers or state troopers. The one that would be in East Hampton would have a concealed weapon, so the hope is that person would be more of a mentor to students but there just in case of emergencies.