ENFIELD, Conn. (WGGB) –Kevin Fealy Jr. wants to know his kids are protected while they’re in class. “ I have 2 sons in the school system. If something happened, and we did nothing, how would we live with ourselves? It’s not a question I ever wanted to look in the mirror and ask myself,” he said.
He is one of 5 Enfield School Board members who voted in favor of placing armed guards in the town’s 12 public schools.
The vote was fueled by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 students and 6 teachers were killed in December.
The Enfield measure would place up to 20 armed guards in town schools, in addition to the 3 resource officers already in place at Enfield’s middle and high schools. However, the guards would not have access to student records, be able to conduct any searches or seizures, nor be allowed to store firearms on school property.
Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann sees the measure as a sign of the times. “I would direct you back about 10 years or so when we put school resource officers in, and everyone thought that was going to have a major impact on what we do. They’re a part of the culture. I’m confident these folks will be part of our culture,” stated Dr. Schumann.
At Longmeadow public schools, Superintendent Marie Doyle says they only have one armed school resource officer. As for additional armed guards, she says they don’t need them. “I just wonder what the culture in the school would be if they had armed guards walking around? What message does that send to students?” she asked.
Some Connecticut parents agree. “I don’t think the children have to be subjected to that,” Mary Lou Oswieck stated.
Fealy says they plan to have armed guards in the schools in September.
The guards are expected to cost more than $610,000, paid for by the town’s budget.