If we do have armed guards, do they have to be active policemen?

It would have to be active duty officers acting in their official capacity, or those who are specially licensed by the state to carry a firearm on school grounds. So they do not necessarily have to be active policemen, as long as they are licensed by the state.

Do we allow off-duty policemen to carry weapons on school grounds?

No, off-duty police officers cannot possess firearms on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school, according to the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.

Was this left up to the board of education?

It seems to be left to local governments, and not necessarily the Boards of Education but local city councils and whatnot.

Can you carry on school grounds?

Carrying on school grounds is forbidden unless you have a special license from local or state government.

What is the policy ?

From the law itself:

“The School Safety Infrastructure Council shall develop school safety infrastructure standards for school building projects under chapter 173 of the general statutes and projects receiving reimbursement as part of the school security infrastructure competitive grant program, pursuant to section 84 of this act. Such school safety infrastructure standards shall conform to industry standards for school building safety infrastructure and shall include, but not be limited to, standards regarding (1) entryways to school buildings and classrooms, such as, reinforcement of entryways, ballistic glass, solid core doors, double door access, computer-controlled electronic locks, remote locks on all entrance and exits and buzzer systems, (2) the use of cameras throughout the school building and at all entrances and exits, including the use of closed-circuit television monitoring, (3) penetration resistant vestibules, and (4) other security infrastructure improvements and devices as they become industry standards. The council shall meet at least annually to review and update, if necessary, the school safety infrastructure standards and make such standards available to local and regional boards of education” –page 122

Each town or regional school district shall be eligible to apply for and accept grants for a school building project as provided in this chapter. Any town desiring a grant for a public school building project may, by vote of its legislative body, authorize the board of education of such town to apply to the Commissioner of Education and to accept or reject such grant for the town. Any regional school board may vote to REPRINT Senate Bill No. 1160 Public Act No. 13-3 124 of 140 authorize the supervising agent of the regional school district to apply to the Commissioner of Education for and to accept or reject such grant for the district. Applications for such grants under this chapter shall be made by the superintendent of schools of such town or regional school district on the form provided and in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Construction Services.” –page 123-124

“Sec. 84. (Effective from passage) (a) For the fiscal years ending June 30, 2013, to June 30, 2015, inclusive, the Departments of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Construction Services and Education shall jointly administer a school security infrastructure competitive grant program to reimburse towns for certain expenses for schools under the jurisdiction of the town’s school district incurred on or after the effective date of this section for: (1) The development or improvement of the security infrastructure of schools, based on the results of school building security assessments pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, including, but not limited to, the installation of surveillance cameras, penetration resistant vestibules, ballistic glass, solid core doors, double door access, computer-controlled electronic locks, entry door buzzer systems, scan card systems, panic alarms or other systems; and (2) (A) the training of school personnel in the operation and maintenance of the security infrastructure of school buildings, or (B) the purchase of portable entrance security devices, including, but not limited to, metal detector wands and screening machines and related training.” –page 126

Not later than January 1, 2014, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop school security and safety plan standards. The school security and safety plan standards shall be an all-hazards approach to emergencies at public schools and shall include, but not be limited to, (1) involvement of local officials, including the chief executive officer of the municipality, the superintendent of schools, law enforcement, fire, public health, emergency management and emergency medical services, in the development of school security and safety plans, (2) a command center organization structure based on the federal National Incident Management System and a description of the responsibilities of such command center organization, (3) a requirement that a school security and safety committee be established at each school, in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of this act, (4) crisis management procedures, (5) a requirement that local law enforcement and other local public safety officials evaluate, score and provide feedback on fire drills and crisis response drills, conducted pursuant to section 10-231 of the general statutes, (6) a requirement that local and regional boards of education annually submit reports to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection regarding such fire drills and crisis response drills, (7) procedures for managing various types of emergencies, (8) a requirement that each local and regional board of education conduct a security and vulnerability assessment for each school under the jurisdiction of such board every two years and develop a school security and safety plan for each such school, in accordance with the provisions of section 87 of this act, based on the results of such assessment, (9) a requirement that the safe school climate committee for each school, established pursuant to section 10- 222k of the general statutes, as amended by this act, collect and evaluate information relating to instances of disturbing or threatening behavior that may not meet the definition of bullying, as defined in section 10-222d of the general statutes, and report such information, as necessary, to the district safe school climate coordinator, described in section 10-222k of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and the school security and safety committee for the school, established pursuant to section 87 of this act, and (10) a requirement that the school security and safety plan for each school provide an orientation on such school security and safety plan to each school employee, as defined in section 10-222d of the general statutes, at such school and provide violence prevention training in a manner prescribed in such school security and safety plan. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection shall make such standards available to local officials, including local and regional boards of education.” –page 129 to 130

“Sec. 87. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) For the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and each school year thereafter, each local and regional board of education shall develop and implement a school security and safety plan for each school under the jurisdiction of such board. Such plans shall be based on the school security and safety plan standards developed by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, pursuant to section 86 of this act. Each local and regional board of education shall annually review and update, if necessary, such plans.” –page 130-131

For the school year commencing July 1, 2014, and each school year thereafter, each local and regional board of education shall establish a school security and safety committee at each school under the jurisdiction of such board. The school security and safety committee shall be responsible for assisting in the development of the school security and safety plan for the school and administering such plan. Such school security and safety committee shall consist of a local police officer, a local first responder, a teacher and an administrator employed at the school, a mental health professional, as defined in section 10-76t of the general statutes, a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the school and any other person the board of education deems necessary.” –page 131

Summary of School Security Provisions:

  • Establishes the School Safety Infrastructure Council which develops safety standards for school building projects.
    • The Council must have the initial standards developed by January 1, 2014 and then update them annually as necessary.
    • Requires projects reviewed by the Department of Construction Services after July 1, 2014 to comply with the school safety infrastructure standards developed by the School Safety Infrastructure Council.
    • Requires the already existing School Building Projects Advisory Council to include the school infrastructure safety standards developed in the model blueprints they have available to schools.
  • Reauthorizes the school security infrastructure competitive grant program to reimburse towns for upgrades to school security infrastructure.
    • The reimbursement rate is the same as the districts reimbursement rate under school construction (between 20% and 80% depending on the municipality).
    • Authorizes the issuance $15 million of bonds for the program.
  • Requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection in consultation with the Department of Education to develop school security and safety plan standards by January 1, 2014.
    • Annually the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection submits a copy of the school security and safety standards along with any recommendations for legislation to the Public Safety and Education Committees.
  • Requires that school security and safety plans be developed at each school
    • These plans must be submitted to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
  • Requires safe school climate committees established by the bullying law to investigate instances of disturbing and threating behavior reported to it.
  • Requires the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to maintain a registry of school security consultants operating in the state.

The standards they came up with that are at all related to guns:

5.11. The main entrance assembly (glazing, frame, & door) shall be bullet resistant and blast resistant.

5.37. Tertiary exterior doors shall be hardened to be penetration resistant and burglar resistant.

5.55. Design windows, framing and anchoring systems to be shatter resistant, bullet resistant, burglar resistant, and forced entry resistant, especially in areas of high risk.

What are the local municipalities actually doing?

Enfield and Branford are the two towns that put armed guards in their schools, but Enfield’s Board of Ed recently voted to do away with the guards. Branford seems to still have theirs.

To see the chart of proposals and actions taken by town click here.