Superintendent in Michigan Considers Arming School Staff Due to Long Response Times

Superintendent in Michigan Considers Arming School Staff Due to Long Response Times

A superintendent is not satisfied with the amount of time it would take the sheriff's office to reach the town's only campus. In his response, he wants to arm teachers.

Every second counts in an emergency situation, especially during a mass shooting, which on average lasts seven minutes.

In the Addison School District, it takes between 13 to 38 minutes for any of the three county sheriff’s department to get to the main school building, Superintendent Steve Gurra told The Detroit Times.

“Both of those numbers are unacceptable," Guerra said. "A school shooting is over in seven minutes. We are looking at other opportunities to keep our kids and staff safe."

For reference, the Sandy Hook shooting lasted about 5 minutes and the Parkland shooting was about 6 minutes.

Lenawee County Sheriff Troy Bevier said he disagrees with the response time given by Guerra, stating that it is between zero and 35 minutes, depending on the closest sheriff’s car.

Knowing students would potentially have to wait possibly up to 38 minutes for help to arrive has prompted Guerra to consider other options such as arming school staff.

"I personally think that it would be a good idea," Guerra said. "As the CEO and superintendent of my district, I can’t guarantee 100% safety in my district. Would employees carrying guarantee? No. It would reduce casualties."

If the district should move forward with the policy, it would be the first one in the state to allow teachers to carry guns.

While the state does allow anyone to carry on school grounds with approved consent from the school’s authority, the state superintendent and the state’s largest teachers union, reported TDN.

While the district is mulling over the potential policy change, Guerra did say the district spent the summer adding 60 security cameras and reinforcing nearly 130 school windows with security film.

Other school districts such as Ann Arbor and Clio in Michigan are doing the exact opposite and prohibiting anyone other than law enforcement from carrying, according to TDN.

"Well-intended people, even those with gun training, are just like everyone else, prone to make mistakes," Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift said to TDN. "When a parent forgets a jacket or a gun falls out of a pocket at school, it could cost a child’s life."

Guerra said he has already talked to the district’s attorney and its insurance company.

"We need to decide whether we are going to do it or not," Guerra said. "You look at last month. How many mass shootings we've had. In Alabama, there was one at a Friday night football game," Guerra said.

"We have to do something. This is one way for me to try to do something."

 

About the Author

Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

Featured

  • Convergint Gives Back Globally, Celebrates 23rd Annual Social Responsibility Day

    Today, Convergint celebrates its 23rd Annual Convergint Social Responsibility Day, as nearly 10,000 colleagues across 220 global locations have the opportunity to spend the workday giving back to their local communities. This year’s efforts have resulted in a total payroll donation of more than $3 million and more than $500,000 in labor and equipment donations from Convergint colleagues, partners, and families. Additionally, 400 colleagues and partners will help complete the company’s largest STEP Up project to-date for the Douglas County School District in Castle Rock, Colorado. Read Now

  • 2024 Secure Campus Award Winners Announced

    Campus Security Today is pleased to announce the 2024 Secure Campus Award winners. Twenty-six companies are being recognized this year for products that help keep education and business campuses safe. Read Now

  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

Webinars