State PTA Scoffs At Requiring Police In Schools, Spokane Schools Employ Officers Electively

By Paige Browning

The Washington State PTA opposes the National Rifle Association's proposal to have armed police in every school.  The gun-rights group made that recommendation Friday, breaking its silence on the shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.
 
PTA executive director Bill Williams says kids need to feel safe to do well at school, and armed guards would probably make them feel less safe.  The director of safety, security, and transportation for Spokane Public Schools made the same correlation between student comfort and success last week.  Jason Connelly also noted that Spokane Public Schools currently employs twelve police officers.  While Police Chief Frank Straub says there are probably not enough officers to put one in every school, Connelly sees benefit to the current resource officers.

Connelly: “These men and women are dedicated to building relationships with our students, with their siblings, with their parents.  So you may have some of our resource officers who have watched a kid come through kindergarten, and 13 years later graduate.”
 
Williams from the PTA says requiring armed officers would drain school district or police department resources.  He also says "the more people are armed, the more likely there are going to be gun deaths."
 
Copyright 2012 Spokane Public Radio
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