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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

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."

Joe Mamma December 21, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Armed National Guard Reservists should have to do full time duty in all schools and crowded, public places then. You want to take over two centuries of constitutional gun rights away from the people, and you don't want to arm the schools, what other choices are there? Last I knew, the bad guy is always going to have the "illegal" assualt rifle (that he is not supposed to have). Who's in charge here? What is the plan to take our community back and protect our schools???
Marc Perez December 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM
National Guard is not the answer, neither is locking the doors. When seconds count and the police are minutes away it's too late. The "School District" does not have an effective plan for dealing with an intruder after they are in the building. Lock doors, hide..... Not the answer. Some, not all teachers and staff have the ability and desire to protect themselves and the students in case of such an event. That desire, that natural human ability is prohibited by the schools because of an agenda rather than using common sense. 50 years ago in Israel a mass shooting happened at a school, since then "some" teachers were trained and armed. In a country where war and terror happens too often there have been "NO" scholl shootings since that time. The lessons of history if not remembered will happens again.

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