Derby school may soon add National Guard presence - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Derby school may soon add National Guard presence

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There may soon be a National Guard presence at Derby High School (WFSB) There may soon be a National Guard presence at Derby High School (WFSB)

Schools around the country are taking steps to make sure their buildings are safe, and that includes schools here in CT.

The school superintendent in Derby said they are looking at possibly adding presence from the National Guard at the high school.

Superintendent Matthew Conway says it’s an idea right now, but perhaps students could benefit from health and fitness training and career and leadership opportunities, and it would be an extra layer of security.

“We are discussing if there are ways we can expose our kids to these opportunities on a more regular basis while at the same time providing another layer of security in our schools,” Conway said.

A few hundred students are enrolled at Derby High School.

Parents are split about a national guard presence during the school day.

“I’m just thinking about when I was a kid we never had to go through that you know what I’m saying so it’s just crazy that the kids they have to take these drastic measures,” said parent Sharon Singleton.

“They need tight security and stuff around here for the safety of the kids and everything I think it’s a great idea,” said Regina Crews, who is a grandparent.

In a letter to the superintendent, Major General Thaddeus Martin writes: 

“I communicated a summary of our conversation to the governor's staff to broach the topic with his senior leadership. It is the position of the Office of the Governor that the presence of armed security guards in schools is a local decision and as such should be supported with local resources. Furthermore, Governor Malloy's staff indicated that they will not support armed military personnel in schools. Nevertheless, should you desire to pursue an enhanced National Guard presence in Derby Schools, I recommend initiating the process by contacting your Mayor's office. If you want to discuss increasing military recruiting in your high school, I would staff options concerning the availability of recruiting personnel with the commander of my recruiting team.”

“Having the military presence and vehicles around doesn’t seem like the best thing for kids. Kids should be playing ball and studying and having school spirit and not worrying about the safety,” said Tom Minar, of Oxford.

This is still very early in the idea process so no timeline has been set, and the National Guard says resources have also not been allocated at this time.

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