On the subject of gun violence in the US –
We had an article in the NJ Star Ledger yesterday in regard to placing “armed officers”
in elementary schools in one of our towns – Bloomfield
"Parents group balks at armed officers in elementary schools"
Cost – $450,000 plan would hire and train Class III special officers to start at the school
in the fall. Bloomfield’s middle and high schools already have school resource officers
and unarmed security guards, the district said.
Parents with the newly formed group “Bloomfield Families for Sensible Safety” maintain
there are other ways to tighten security without bringing guns to campus.
“Anytime you introduce a weapon into a situation, you are farm more likely to have an accident,
to have violence,” said one of the parents who child is entering kindergarten next year.
“So many of the recent treagic school shootings happened when there were armed guards in place.”
Another parent (Gatts) said the news came as a “big shock to a lot of people.”
“I’ve heard an overwhelming confusion about it; we need more information. This is obviously a hot-
button issue,” she said.
She said that parents wee not informed of the plan and did not get a chance to express their
concerns or to get their questions answered before the money was allocated to hire officers.
There is a petition opposing the armed guards which has 175 signatures so far.
Plan was approved by the Board of Education in April, included as a line item in the overall
Board president objected saying that “the budget was public and specified that we were going
forward with this.” And suggested that parents had opportunity at every board meeting to
voice any concerns and have questions answered."
Former Gov. Chris Christie approved a law allowing the hiring of Class III officers as long as
they were specially trained on school safety matters. The officers must be under 65 years old,
work no more than 20 hours a week and are not entitled to health or pension benefits for their
Bloomfield Superintendent Goncalves said the officers would be able to communicate through
police radios and quickly relay information to the police department in case of an emergency.
Gatts said she was concerned about both the logistics of having armed officers on campus and
the emotional effect on here kids.
The district has also spent $1.5 million to add security at the schools, including anti-intruder
locks, lighting and security cameras.
IMO, the WAR should be on guns and gun violence in the US –
and not on these students – and indeed very young students – who will experience a
constant WAR zone in their schools, creating fear and intrusions on their lives and liberty.
The WAR is misdirected when it comes into the lives of elementary school children.