School districts add extra security to keep students safe


NORTH BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As kids head back to class, school security is on the mind of many parents. Seemingly random acts of violence and mass casualty are becoming commonplace in the United States. Perhaps the most shocking act of violence, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six educators, is why the North Branford school district placed armed guards at every school in the district.

“Until we can come up with a more cost-effective, better way to secure our school buildings, this is proven worthwhile for North Branford,” Scott Schoonmaker, Superintendent of North Branford Schools said.

He says it’s costing taxpayers $135,000 per year to keep seven security officers posted at the town’s four campuses, but it’s well-worth the price tag.

“We felt it was imperative to put money forward to secure buildings and keep our children safe,” Schoonmaker said. “I truly believe there’s a need for security in schools with all the tragedy happening in the country.”

Security guard Bob Maturo is preparing to stand guard Thursday for another year at Jerome Harrison Elementary. He’s a retired police officer from Hamden, with 27 years on the job. He and all other armed guards in North Branford are retired police officers and they’re required to conceal their weapons to keep out of sight from the students.

“The same standards that a police officer has with the state of Connecticut, we have to qualify with our weapons once a year,” Maturo said.

He says most parents have been very supportive of having armed security in schools, as a precaution and a deterrent.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s