Rockwood Officials Do Not Favor Arming Teaching Staff
In the aftermath of Friday's shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Rockwood School District officials are rethinking current safety plans at the district's school buildings. But guns in the hands of teachers is not one so far.
Rockwood School District's assistant superintendent for administrative services, Dennis Griffith, said Rockwood was not one of the stated school districts interested in arming school personnel with guns during Thursday's meeting of St. Louis County Police and Safe Schools Partners. Based on 22,568 students enrolled, Rockwood ranks as Missouri's third largest school district, according to the latest Department of Elementary and Secondary Education data available.
St. Louis County Police Department Chief Tim Fitch attracted national headlines earlier this week when he put forward the idea of arming school officials as a way of deterring future mass shootings.
"There are other remedies we might discuss before that would become a serious topic of conversation," said Griffith.
He said no inquiries were received by district administrators from Rockwood principals about the matter this week.
Visitors to Rockwood schools do have to buzz in at main entrances during school hours. High schools are not as locked down like the middle and elementary schools are, Griffith said, nor is the Individualized Learning Center Alternative High School in Eureka.
"Those are issues we will be considering in the future as a means to enhance good safety plans that we currently have," Griffith told Patch Thursday, after the Safe Schools Partnership meeting.
"There has been a heightened awareness in our schools, and this tragic and senseless event gives us even more reason to continue to keep safety as our No. 1 priority, and to look at the changes we might consider to make our campuses even safer."