Newark School Committee Discusses Arming Teachers To Improve Security


After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Newark City Schools formed a safety committee which held its first meeting on Monday.

Among the safety suggestions that were discussed was the idea of arming teachers.

Science teacher Wayne Neale said he never imagined that one day he could be allowed to carry a weapon to school.

“Firearms in the school are kind of a scary thing. It's one more thing I would have to keep track of,” said Neale.

Neale is a gun owner and works in the Newark school district. It’s a district that's examining whether it needs to increase security measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Arming teachers with guns, Tasers, or mace are options the district is considering.

“I probably wouldn't carry, even if I had CCW training,” said Neale.

The idea to arm teachers came from parents during a school security meeting. Some parents see a lot of positives in giving teachers the power to pull the trigger.

“I'm definitely in favor of it, and one of the main reasons is my brother is a teacher, so I would like to have that security and protection,” said parent Jody Zimmo.

“I think they're going to have to do a lot more research before they make that decision because that's a pretty serious decision to arm a teacher,” said school resource officer David Bardsley.

Bardsley said that arming teachers isn't a bad thing, but only under the right conditions.

“If they are well trained I would say yes but right now I'd rather have an officer to back me up,” said Bardsley.

Bardsley remains the only person allowed to carry a gun and a Taser in the school building for now.

But when parents see school shootings like the ones in Chardin and Sandy Hook, many question whether others should be armed as well.

That includes the people who teach their children.

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