Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ziegler Clarifies His Position on Arming Teachers

Brevard Public Schools Board member Andy Ziegler voted for the teacher’s new contract on January 22, but would like to see one part of it changed.
In an exclusive interview with Brevard Times, Ziegler clarified his comments from Tuesday night regarding his opposition to the portion in the contract that says, “Teachers shall not carry weapons of any kind, either lethal or non-lethal.”
Ziegler said, “I would like to change the language to ‘will not be required to carry a weapon.’ I am hoping that is BFT’s intent.”
During discussion regarding the contract at the meeting, Ziegler had noted that “it would be a shame” if a retired police officer with proper permits who might become a teacher would not be allowed to carry a firearm.
In the interview, Ziegler continued, “I don’t believe anyone should carry a weapon, anywhere, especially at schools, without an appropriate level of training and education for where they want to carry.  
“Statistics show that individuals who carry weapons and are untrained in how and when to use them, are as much a threat to themselves as those around them. I hear there are too many people who pull out a weapon for self-defense, to only have the attacker take the weapon and use it on the victim who pulled the weapon in self-defense. If people can’t defend themselves, they certainly can’t defend someone else.”
Ziegler said that he speaks often with new Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey regarding school safety and school resource officer allocations.  SROs were removed from elementary schools several years ago.
“The issue that removed SRO’s from elementary was cost - both for the district and also from the local agencies,” Ziegler said.  BPS provided about $29,000 per year for each elementary school for SROs.
Campus monitors in high schools – another set of eyes on campuses – are high on the potential budget cut list as BPS tries to find $30 million in reductions to meet their budget.
Campus monitors definitely help with safety. Of course, if they are not armed, they can only help to a point,” he said.

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