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Enfield Students Plan to Protest Recommendation of Armed Guards in Schools

A rally has been planned for Monday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Enfield Town Hall.

Last week's recommendation to hire an armed guard for each Enfield school by a joint Town Council/Board of Education subcommittee on school security has been met with mixed reactions from townspeople and students.

The comment sections on the Enfield Patch story and Facebook page were filled with people citing the pros and cons of placing armed security personnel inside school buildings. If approved, the plan would go into effect no later than the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Some students from Enfield High School have stated they do not approve of the proposal, and are organizing a protest for Monday, March 18 at 5:30 p.m. at Enfield Town Hall.

Sophomore Nick Ide said the rumors he heard about the recommendation were confirmed by the Enfield Patch article and some information on the Town Council web page. 

"I proceeded to message some of my friends who I knew would feel strongly about the matter. After a long conversation, we decided that the best thing to do was to organize a protest," he said.

Ide designed and printed some posters, then he and a friend met with Enfield principal Jill Krieger to ask permission to place the posters around school and make an announcement over the public address system to inform students of the protest.

"She seemed supportive of us, however she couldn't allow us to do so, as it was against school policy," Ide said. "We figured this would be the case, so we recruited another friend of ours and the three of us started handing out our posters and trying to spread the word around the school."

Ide said he got mixed opinions on the matter, but felt he and his friends had effectively spread the word around their school. Their next mission was to reach students and parents from all the other town schools.

They knocked on doors around their neighborhoods, then placed posters near the entrances to every school in town. They also plan to hand out flyers around town Sunday.

Ide said the original plan was to protest in front of Town Hall, but now says the group will protest at the rear of the building in hopes of getting the attention of Town Council members prior to their 5:30 p.m. special meeting in the Enfield Room. He asks that persons interested in protesting start arriving around 5 o'clock.

"We've been rapidly gaining support, and we feel as though this protest will have a rather large turnout," Ide said. "In my opinion, bringing guns into schools seems kind of hypocritical if you're trying to keep them out. What if a student manages to disarm one of the guards, then uses that gun? While some may argue that it's very unlikely, it's not impossible, and you shouldn't underestimate someone that's disturbed enough to commit a school shooting."

Ide said he feels the money being estimated for the security proposal would be better spent elsewhere for education.

"I feel as though the $650,000 that they plan to spend on this could be put towards something much better, like new computers, or IPads for every student," he said. "If they really want to beef up the schools' security though, I'd feel much safer if they replaced all of the first floor windows with bulletproof glass than if they put an armed guard in every school."

Anyone interested in more information about the protest may contact Ide at 860-849-1160, or visit the Facebook page he has set up.

Wendy K. Osada March 17, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Regardless how you feel about the policy, I think Nick Ide should be commended for his actions. That's alot of initiative for a high school sophmore. Kudos Nick!
Chris Kibbe March 17, 2013 at 05:55 PM
I would like to begin this comment by stating that up until recently, I was vehemently against guards at my children's schools. With that aside, a bullet was recently found at my son's school in Enfield. As harmless as some said it was, it really worried me. My son is 7 years old and the bullet was found close to his classroom. It was then that I had heard that the Enfield police would be present for the next few days to make sure everything was ok. This gave me a sense of relief knowing that they would be there JUST IN CASE. I realize that we live in a time where it is truly sad that we would need armed officers at a school, but as a parent I have to admit that I definitely felt better knowing my son would be guarded.
Chris Kibbe March 17, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I also commend Nick's passion and initiative.
Kp Stymie March 18, 2013 at 01:47 AM
I'd also like to commend Nick. I'd never have tackled something this controversial when I was his age. Despite the fact that I too have children at HMS, I do not want armed guards there. Armed guards are a $650,000/yr insurance policy against something that has a ridiculously small chance of happening and a small chance of being successful. I don't dispute that hiring retired police officers is a better plan that having a mall cop. HOWEVER, they are just one person dealing with an entire building for a crime that lasts seconds. I'll buy flood insurance but I won't buy "a UFO landed on my house" insurance. Armed guards are the UFO insurance. Something else to think about. Any self-defense or police training will tell you that, when faced with someone trying to shoot you, your best chance for survival is to RUN not stay there and hope to not get hit. How 'bout we spend some money to deal with THAT.
BLee March 18, 2013 at 12:06 PM
A "chance" of it happening is still a chance and I would not take ANY chances when it comes to the safety of my child.
janet March 18, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Why don't we give the kids bullet proof vests and kevlar helmets while they are in school? Now that would be better
Pat Droney March 18, 2013 at 02:11 PM
Just food for thought...if you were in the position of either the Chief of Police, or the Town Council or Board of Education, are you willing to take a chance even on the odds of 1/1 million? Ask yourself this...what if......what if this one in a million chance came to fruition and you hadn't done anything? What if "only" one child were killed because money was put ahead of safety....if you were the parent of that child and nothing was done, would you be able to forgive the Town Council, or Board of Ed or Chief of Police? I am not saying that this is the best solution...it may not be. But what if it is? Is the life of even one child not worth making an investment in their safety? As I said...food for thought....
Carmen March 18, 2013 at 02:40 PM
With all due respect to Nick, I disagree with the protest. I do feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of gamblers with the stakes being our children's lives (completely agree with BLee) and that is not a gamble I am willing to make. I've tried to be reasonable and really understand those who do NOT want protection at our schools but instead I get "what are the chances...it won't make a difference", or absolutely ridiculous suggestions like the ones janet and Kp have provided. I have not heard a reasonable argument against guarding our schools - just anomosity over money. If the students are worried about the guard being disarmed by a student, I would have to use the anti-guard arguments against them and say that the chances of that scenario occurring would be as likely as it a gun man targeting an Enfield school... right? So, better to be safe then sorry!
janet March 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Do you pay taxes in Enfield Carmen? We just closed several elementary schools that we recently had to spend money on them to put in gymnasiums. Now the schools are closed. We now have to renovate a high school and abandon another high school as well has building a new Public Safety Acadamy. When does it end. How does this make our children smarter and compete with other countries? Public Safety personell are usually paid for by the tax payer not the private sector.
Kp Stymie March 18, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Do you let your child ride a bike? How about crossing the street? Do you only feed them baby food so they can't choke? Do you let them ride in a car? They are many times more likely to die in those ways than in a school shooting. Having children means ALWAYS being terrified that something will happen to them. "Thems just facts". You have to let them live, that is how they learn. If you enclose your children in a bubble of brick walls and armed guards, they will never learn to depend on themselves. At some point we have to decide where to draw the line. They are as safe as they can reasonably be with locked doors and limited access. I'd like to think that, with the buzzer entry and a camera to see who is there, our school staff members aren't going to buzz in a person with weapons. A crazy person would break a window...whatever. Crazy people are crazy. You can't predict what they will do. An armed guard in school will not change that. I don't want my kids going into a prison for school. A school is a place for learning not learning to be afraid of the outside world.
Kp Stymie March 18, 2013 at 04:24 PM
I understand your argument. I have a child the same age as the little boy that was shot 11 times. Don't think this scenario hasn't crossed my mind more times than I can count. Especially the day they found a bullet outside the door of his classroom. BUT, If the door was locked and the staff acted in the best interest of the children, I'd hate the fact that it happened but would accept is as a part of life. Terrible things can happen. All you can do is take reasonable precautions. Reasonable, not knee-jerk, panicked precautions.
Ray Forrest March 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM
My sons' teachers are already armed and ready to protect them. Of course, we homeschool so I can protect them with my gun. Now we see Malloy and his potted plant henchmen want to make my sons just as vulnerable as a public school child.
Trish Neild Barry March 19, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Maybe it is because I have a comfort level around guns. Maybe it is because I view police/security as "there to help" not "there to annoy or frighten" me or my children... We also go out of our way to point out police and security guards to our children and explain that they are there to protect us. I am fine with any security plan that could make my child safer. I think the proposed plan does. Nothing is fool proof or 100%. But if it is one more step that some crazy person has to get through before getting to my child... and that step has a serious chance of taking the crazy person down. I am all for it. Heck. I would be all for giving school admin and teachers "tasers" in a locked box with a key that they wore around their necks or hidden from students to use in the chance that "crazy person" got past officer friendly. All he needs to be is taken down and time be given for the rest of the first responders to arrive and help take him or her out. Yep, I know that wouldn't be popular with about 90% of you... that is fine. All I can say is, I agree with everything Pat Droney said above. My kids are 1 in a million. Yes, they need to grow up and live, but if we still protect them everywhere we can....we give them helmets when they ride bikes... and car seats and seat belts in the car ... why not protect them when they are in school.
Amalita Grimes March 19, 2013 at 07:23 AM
Its amazing to me that it is the same people who say they will die for their guns but when the gun culture produces this type of result they will do "anything at all, even if it was just a small chance of success" to protect the children-- except give up guns. Bill Lee and Pat Droney. Stop peddling fear. We don't want it. And stop being hypocritical. When it comes to providing the best for our children the Republicans have been the gatekeepers and have countered every presentation of 'what is best for the children' with 'sorry we can't afford it'. No one rolled out a 7.9 million dollar (that will be spent over the career of a child in enfield schools) solution to the suicide issue, no one rolled out a 7.9 million dollars solution to the bullying problems, no one rolled out a 7.9 million dollar solution when Enfield children went on t.v. begging for attention from adults in this community. You people won't even roll out a plug nickel so that our kids can get a decent education. Guess what, your kid is not 1 in a million. Your kid is 1 in 55 million kids in this country. And this year, statistically, 1000 times more children will die from suicide than from a mass shooting in school. Those are just facts. Yet we are told things like 'a hug from a parent is worth 1000 councilors' when it comes to making excuses as to why we wont fund them. Im sorry alot of people are scared but this does not mean our leaders should put schools in a permanent state of lockdown.
Amalita Grimes March 19, 2013 at 07:25 AM
And we can't seem to figure out why families who could actually afford to live here are leaving Enfield in droves.
Amalita Grimes March 19, 2013 at 07:36 AM
Excuse me, but your hypocricy is showing. Of course you take chances. Anyone person belonging to a party who make it a point to defend the right for individuals to carry guns is taking a chance with the safety of their children particularly when its been proven that a gun in the home is most likely going to kill your child than it is anyone else. Was Newtown done with illegal guns? No. Yet if the government told you that in the interest of protecting your child they were going to limit your freedom (eg take your gun away) your party would be the very first to say 'how dare the government limit my freedom even if it is in the name of safety (of the children)'. Bill the only way to guarentee absolute safety, the only way to eliminate any 'chance' of a child being in danger is to eliminate all freedom. We don't want to live in a police state because YOU are scared. It doesnt make sense statistically, it doesnt make sense logically and it doesnt make sense economically.
Amalita Grimes March 19, 2013 at 07:42 AM
You are a piece of work. This is the same group of people who told us that saving a few nickels was much more important than making sure that kids (as young as kindergarten) could get on the bus in front of their house. So yes even YOU are willing to risk the lives of children to save money. Did you come out and say 'what if one child died trying to stand on the busy corner of Till Street and Booth to catch a bus just because we wanted to save a few dollars and be more efficient by aggragating the stops". I dont think so. Yet this is an ACTUAL danger for kids. No Pat, I wouldnt forgive the Chief of Police if something like this happens in Enfield, because there is nothing to forgive. I understand that the police have to make choices based on safety, reason and the limits of their budget. That is all I expect them to do.
Carmen March 19, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Kp - I let my children ride their bikes, wearing helmets to protect them. I let my children cross the street, because I've taught them to look both ways to protect them. I let my children ride in a car with the proper car seats/seat belts to protect them. I would like to send my children to a school with some level of protection against a lunatic with a gun. Maybe it's the words "armed guard" that makes you so irrate. There will simply be a trained individual with a secured weapon stationed at a school in the event the unthinkable happens. The helmet, looking both ways, car seats and a trained individual with a secured weapon, aren't going to keep them safe 100% of the time, but it's a level of protection I can give them to make the "bad" things happening less likely. And for your information, no one at Sandy Hook "buzzed" the lunatic in... so when he started shooting out the front door, instead of a defenseless principal throwing herself at him, he could have been met with equal force by a trained individual whose very response could have saved several lives if not stopped him in his tracks.
Carmen March 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I pay taxes in Enfield... this isn't about previous decisions good or bad. This is about safety and all the education in the world isn't going to matter a bit if they are not alive to use it. The lives of my children are priceless to me, I'm sorry your children have a price.
Jim March 19, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Amalita I am amazed at the utter crap that you are spewing here. You believe that the town doesnt supply your children or anyone elses for that matter with a "decent education" ? the town of enfield provides much more than a decent "public school" education. Unfortunately most of the money gets spent on salaries. If you dont believe the town is doing enough for you and yours then why not send your children to private school. The way you sound here money does not seem like an issue to you. What makes you think the taxpayers in Enfield owe you anything. Do you even work and contibute to the tax base in our town? The taxpayers of Enfield can not afford or should they have to fix all the problems that the children in Enfield may face, some of that is actually the childrens "parents" responsibility. You do not seem to have anything good to say about Enfield so I really dont understand why you ever moved to our town. Maybe you should pack up and find your self a town that will cater to your every need, good luck in finding one.
Trish Neild Barry March 19, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I am a democrat, not a republican. I don't have a conservative bone in my body. I dont see how protecting my kids is political. I am fine with my taxes being raised for the right reasons, and I think this is one. I can think on my own. When I believe in something, I say it."I think the town should have full day K"and believe me, all the BOE, and soon the TC will know my opinion" and this is my opinion about school protection. Just because I agree with Bill or Pat, doesn't mean that there is anything political about it.(Tho I highly respect both men, Bill I have known for years, and Pat I only know from his comments,but they are well thought out, and he appears to have the knowlege to back them up.) My opinion is not knee jerk. You have your opinion, you have many of them. My kids are special, They are one in a million and priceless and I want them protected. I believe there should be counseling and metal services for those who need them. As far as your "We don't want it" don't speak for other people, speak for yourself. "We cant figure out why people are leaving Enfield in droves" Again, who is "We" What particular people are you speaking for. I know that I can only speak for myself. I have seen people, many of them parents, discuss a difficult situation that is emotional, and try to come up with the best solution they can. If you have a better one. Run for TC or the BOE. And if you you are voted in and become their spokesperson, then you can feel free to use "We."
Kp Stymie March 19, 2013 at 05:40 PM
How is a trained person with a secured weapon there to protect our children not an armed guard? I didn't say the Sandy Hook lunatic was buzzed in, I said our current staff would not buzz in a person with weapons. I'm not irate, I think this is a knee-jerk, unreasonable reaction to something horrific. However, even the Sandy Hook report to the governor did not recommend this sort of thing. WFSB has a link if you haven't read it yet.
Carmen March 19, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I did not say "training individual with a secured weapon" was NOT the same thing as "armed guard". I suggested the words "armed guard" are infuriating you, since you've suggested before that schools would be like a prison. And the protest last night included unrealistic pictures of what kind of person would be in our school (full swat attire). I was confused by your comment that staff would not buzz in a lunatic, therefore it was enough to protect our kids because the buzzer was not a factor at Sandy Hook. I do NOT think this is a knee jerk reaction to anything. Unfortunately, it is the world we live in today and as with anything else, when a vunerability is discovered a new safety measure is added from foods, to toys, to airlines, etc... that is the sad truth of the matter.
Bill Lee March 19, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Ms. Grimes - Pardon.... Not my comment above.
Carmen March 19, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Perfectly stated Trish - glad to hear some sanity in this town.
Trish Neild Barry March 19, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Bill Lee, sorry for assumming that was your statement above... political party aside I respect you and your thoughts, and your willingness to be on TC and be heard in a positive way in our town. And Ms. Grimes, I am not a gun owner. I have no interest in owning one. I just have respect for them. I have respect for those who choose to own them.
Jim March 27, 2013 at 11:58 PM
The students seem to be more enlightened than the adults of Enfield...enjoy paying those taxes to give you a false sense of securety

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