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Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Should parents, teachers and other personnel be able to carry a concealed weapon in a school?

Recently, legislation was passed in Michigan that gives people the ability to carry a concealed weapon in a school, hospital, church and other open areas (stadiums, shopping malls,etc.). Proponents say the legislation requires those carrying a license to have increased training and that this law would increase public safety. Opponents, say adding the opportunity for an increase in weapons in places that should be the most safe, such as schools, hospitals and churches is a bad idea will lead to something tragic.

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    Dec 17 2012: There is no doubt a commonality with all of us having opinions and contributing to the conversation...we all want safety...we all want safe places. Schools, hospitals, churches should be places that are the most safe. I suspect if the Connecticut shooting had taken place at a hospital, the conversation might center around doctor's carrying guns for protection.

    Can we really prevent the unthinkable? Crisis management plans are by definition, plans to manage something that has happened. When you hear stories coming out of Sandy Hook Elementary, you hear of teachers doing what they are trained to do...protect those children. Have the doors locked, get them into a corner or closet as far away from the door as possible, keep the children quiet and calm and wait for the police to get there. I hear and understand the side of the debate that says "what if teachers or someone in the building has a gun, they could prevent this." In my mind, as a school Superintendent, it is hard for me to see that working in any possible way. I would respectfully respond by saying that the teacher's role in that crisis is to protect those innocent children and keep them as safe as possible. If they are worried about getting their gun out of the desk drawer, the focus that is lost for that one second, may contribute to even greater harm.

    It's not a perfect solution...is there a perfect solution to preventing "crazy" and "evil." If so, please let me in on it as I comb through our emergency plans to find any gap that may exist.
    • Dec 19 2012: Randy, what about the notion of first aid or emergency responders? I don't necessarily agree with all of Mr. Long's points but on that one he has got somewhat of a point. You will not prevent the next school shooting, but you can thwart it. If you have one or two designated volunteer responders that could potentially have access to a weapon in case of an emergency you could potentially delay the shooter until police shows up. Their identities could be kept in secret and only disclosed in advance to the police department. I am not advocating to arm all faculty but to be honest with you it is delusional to think this won't continue to happen, these events are almost clamored by the media for all the wrong reasons. Sex and Blood sells...
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        Dec 20 2012: M C,

        Who's going to be administering to those who are wounded, while the rescue workers are firing guns? If it is kept a secret, how are all the teachers and staff that you would like to see packing a gun, going to know who is who? Would you honestly like to see your two little children in that cross-fire? Think about it.

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