School officials at Chatfield Elementary School in Lapeer, Michigan decided that in light of the recent outbreak of violence in schools, they would feel much safer if there was an armed guard present during class hours. Sound familiar? It should. The CEO of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, went on national television to pitch the idea a week after the horrific massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. I thought he sounded like a crazy person, but apparently everyone doesn’t share my views.
Anyway, back to the school in Michigan. They hired retired county sheriff, Clark Arnold, to serve as the school’s security officer. Okay – that’s a little better than the idea of arming custodians, I guess. At least the guy has experience holding a gun.
Chatfield School Director Matt Young told WNEM, ”It’s a tremendous asset to the safety of the students. Providing a safe environment and an atmosphere where parents are comfortable, students are comfortable, and feel safe so that they can focus on learning.”
Sounds good, right? At least to those of us who hear the word “gun” and get all warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t. In fact, the thought of arming someone at a school my child attends terrifies me a little. For good reason, it seems.
Even retired sheriff’s make mistakes. The officer left his gun unattended in a school bathroom for a “few moments.” The Flint Journal reported that he ”made a breach in security protocol,” but that the gun was unloaded. Arnold will probably not face criminal charges because no one was harmed in the incident.
This whole story confuses me, predominantly because of all of the elements that are left out. Who found the gun? If he’s carrying it to protect the students, why was it unloaded? The school is declining to discuss the details and any possible repercussions to Arnold, calling it a “personal matter.” Something tells me if he would have remembered he left it there and found it himself, this wouldn’t even be a story because he wouldn’t have told a soul about such a huge misstep.
Something sounds fishy here. In any case, the armed guard that’s supposed to make us all feel so “safe” left a gun unattended in a bathroom at an elementary school.