Amid increasing calls to arm educators in the wake of the Newtown shootings, school leaders who met earlier this week in Southington agreed that guns have no place in Connecticut's schools.
The gathering of the Connecticut School Security Symposium on Monday in Southington drew more than 800 educators. The event was closed to the public, but a group of schools officials talked to reporters on Tuesday during a press conference in West Hartford, according to the website CT News Junkie.
Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, told the website that officials discussed a wide range of issues related to school security during the symposium, including how schools should safegaurd against tragedies like the Newtown shootings. Some of the issues covered, Cirasuolo said, included installing bulletproof glass in schools and improving buzzer entry systems.
In Ridgefield, security has been stepped up at local schools in several ways.
Unarmed security guards were hired and stationed at school entrances; they follow a check-in protocol that has been reviewed by the Ridgefield Police Department, according to an update provided by Superintendent Deborah Low's office.
"The procedure includes using one entrance, requiring visitors to present photo identification, and recording visitor purpose, check-in and exit times. The work stations for the guards are in the process of being set up with computer, phone, and door buzzer," reads the update, also posted on the district's website.
One evening security guard is slated to be at Ridgefield High School.
In addition, school officials are preparing proposals for the school board around other security measures, including additional school resource officers and increased surveillance cameras. Read the full list of plans here.
Cirasuolo said there was no single or easy solution to the matter of school security, though the education officials dismissed the idea of arming teachers or other school officials, the website reports.
“One of the things that was recommended against very strongly was arming teachers and principals, because when it comes down to it you can make sure somebody knows how to use a firearm — shoot it — but you need to make sure the person that has the firearm knows how to use it in a school setting,” Cirasuolo told CT News Junkie.