Schools debate having an armed school employee - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Schools debate having an armed school employee

Posted:

It's a touchy subject. Guns in schools. Indiana could become the first state in the country to require an armed school employee.

Local schools don't like the idea of a staffer carrying a gun, but they also are concerned with the financial burden it could cause to have a trained officer in the building. While they don't know the best approach, everyone agrees safety in schools is a priority.

"That's what we need, we need to know he's going to come home everyday and I would feel safer with an armed officer," says parent John Ringhoffer.

Parents like the idea of SOMEONE at their kid's schools being armed.

"I think it's a good idea with all the violence and kids bringing guns and knives and everything in," says parent Jennifer Battles.

But they don't want just anybody carrying a gun. "It will detour the guys from coming. If there's an armed officer here then I think the evil guys will tend to not come around," says Ringhoffer.

PHM superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker feels the same way, but he thinks that armed person needs to be a school resource officer. "They help us with building relationships with students in addition to providing a safe and secure environment."

He says not just anyone can do what they do. "They are just outstanding officers. So one is thinking of having the protection of police who is trained, that's a huge difference than handing over a gun to someone and giving them some shooting lessons."

At South Bend Schools, SRO program supervisor Eric Crittendon agrees, he says there's a big difference between an armed staffer and School Resource Officer. "Making staff armed or arming any personnel does not mean your school is safer. We want to put people who are trained under stressful situations and know how to handle the weapon under stressful situations."

Both Thacker and Crittendon say they've heard the argument that officers scare kids, but they say part of an SRO's job is to build a rapport and Jennifer Battles says it's working for her kids. "They've never had issues, I think it would probably make them feel more comfortable."

They say the biggest challenge is the financial side of things. "With appropriate funding we would welcome opportunity to provide the greatest possible security for our students," says Thacker.

House members are specifically looking at the financial burden with this proposal. Tuesday they will review two possible changes. They may give schools more legal protections in case something goes wrong and schools could have the option to opt-out of the proposed state requirement by using a waiver.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • South Bend Common Council Members hold walking tour in Henry Davis Jr.'s district and none speak about arrest

    South Bend Common Council Members hold walking tour in Henry Davis Jr.'s district and none speak about arrest

    Council members met with residents of the 2nd District in South BendCouncil members met with residents of the 2nd District in South Bend
    South Bend Common Council Members were knocking on doors and chatting with residents on Friday evening. It was all part of the council's ongoing walking tours through the city's neighborhoods. Friday's walk was held in District 2, which is represented by Councilman Henry Davis Jr..More >>
    South Bend Common Council Members were knocking on doors and chatting with residents on Friday evening. It was all part of the council's ongoing walking tours through the city's neighborhoods. Friday's walk was held in District 2, which is represented by Councilman Henry Davis Jr..
    More >>
  • Tricia's Playhouse owner charged in death of five-year-old boy

    Tricia's Playhouse owner charged in death of five-year-old boy

    Tricia's Playhouse in Michigan CityTricia's Playhouse in Michigan City
    Charges were filed Friday against the owner of the Michigan City day care where a five-year-old died last month.According to State of Indiana records, Tricia Calvin, owner of Tricia's Playhouse, was charged with Reckless Homicide and Involuntary Manslaughter by LaPorte County prosecutors.More >>
    Charges were filed Friday against the owner of the Michigan City day care where a five-year-old died last month.According to State of Indiana records, Tricia Calvin, owner of Tricia's Playhouse, was charged with Reckless Homicide and Involuntary Manslaughter by LaPorte County prosecutors.
    More >>
  • Attorney: Daycare hanging victim's mother says those in charge should accept responsibility for what happened

    Attorney: Daycare hanging victim's mother says those in charge should accept responsibility for what happened

    An attorney for Anita LeFlore, the mother of five-year-old Amareon Williams, says his client is satisfied the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office has charged Tricia Calvin. Calvin is the owner of Tricia's Playhouse in Michigan City, where Amareon died on June 9, 2014. Police say Amareon choked to death when he became tangled in a jump rope hanging from a play set. "Anita LeFlore is very satisfied today that the prosecutor is going to make sure that the people running this facility, that the pe...More >>
    An attorney for Anita LeFlore, the mother of five-year-old Amareon Williams, says his client is satisfied the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office has charged Tricia Calvin. Calvin is the owner of Tricia's Playhouse in Michigan City, where Amareon died on June 9, 2014. Police say Amareon choked to death when he became tangled in a jump rope hanging from a play set. "Anita LeFlore is very satisfied today that the prosecutor is going to make sure that the people running this facility, that the pe...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.