Kent town officials considering program to arm teachers

Kent Center School (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

Kent Center School (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)
Kent Center School (WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

KENT, Conn. (WTNH) — Some town officials in Kent want a program put in place that would arm teachers and make them the first line of defense in the instance of a school shooting.

“And still the teacher that’s not well trained would kill somebody else,” said Linda Haberman.

Town selectman Jeffrey Parkin is suggesting a program that would allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom at Kent Center School. Its the towns only pre-K through eighth grade school.

Kent selectman voted two to one on presenting the Board of Education to look into the program “Faster Saves Lives.” It’s a non-profit program that gives educators 26 hours of violence response training. First Selectman, Bruce Adams voted against it.

“I just don’t think it is what Kent Center School needs or is ready for,” said Adams.

Adams was a teacher at Kent Center School for 34 years and the proposal hits home.

“This is a distraction, disruption call it what you like that most if not all are enjoying to deal with,” said Adams.

“It is the most ridiculous thing, and you are gonna now tell children first graders and second graders I’m carrying a gun in this classroom?” said Haberman.

Parents are uneasy about guns in the classroom.

“Just anything can happen. how are they going to be kept? are they going to stored somewhere? In the classroom with the kids?” said Heather Strid.

Some say teachers shouldn’t have to respond to violent events.

“I personally think that if it is going to be somebody armed that it should be on the professional end. Security, police and I know some schools hire people to do that rather than putting armed weapons in the hands of teachers,” said Rebecca Steinberg.

The proposal will be presented to the board of education next month.

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