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O.C. councilman wants to allow teachers to carry guns at school

December 20, 2012 |  7:34 am

Less than a week after the deadly Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, a San Juan Capistrano city councilman has asked his local school district to allow teachers to carry guns in classrooms to protect their students.

According to a letter obtained by The Capistrano Disptach, Councilman Derek Reeve cited the Newtown, Conn., shooting that killed 20 children and six adults, saying "efforts must be taken to empower teachers, staff and parents to protect our children."

The letter, dated Thursday, then suggests training teachers and staff for "active-shooter scenarios" and allowing school staff, teachers and parents to carry guns on school grounds in order to protect children in such situations.

"No teacher or staff member should be required to carry firearms, however many already own and are trained with their own firearms," he said. "The firearms can be easily and safely secured in the classrooms.... Volunteer parents are also a viable option."

Reeve said hiring armed security would be an alternative option, "however this would require a funding source." Arming teachers and staff, he wrote, "would require no additional funding."

Reeve, a father of two, also recommended that schools lock down their campuses, with suggestions including building fences along the perimeter and allowing only one entry point for guests.

"They by themselves do not prevent an attack, but they will deter a potential attack and delay an active attack until law enforcement arrives," he wrote.

District spokesman Marcus Walton told the Dispatch the district had received the letter.

“Like school districts everywhere, we’re getting lots of well-intended suggestions and ideas on how to increase student security and safety in schools,” Walton said. “While we appreciate the councilman’s interest in this topic, we will not entertain any proposal to have staff persons carry firearms.”

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— Kate Mather

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