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Local SWAT Commander: Arming Teachers is a Bad Idea

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Concord Police Lt. Michael Pearl says there are many problems with arming teachers with guns--something the President has suggested--to keep schools safe.


Speaking Tuesday on NHPR's The Exchange, he said there are training and liability issues. He also questions how a teacher would react in a critical moment.


"I don’t think it’s a viable solution. There are so many other options that we could work toward for prevention and awareness and training, that that’s not part of the equation," Pearl said. 


Pearl has conducted drills at Concord schools. He is also commander of a regional "SWAT" team, the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit.



He joined The Exchange for its show, "How School Shootings are Changing Education." 


Milford High School teacher Dave Alcox and Milford student Shelby Houghton also joined the show to discuss the issue, following the shooting Feb. 14 at a Florida high school that left 17 dead, and subsequent threats investigated at a few New Hampshire schools.


Former long-time Londonderry school superintendent Nate Greenberg spoke of the importance of training faculty and staff, increasing security in buildings, and beefing up guidance, support, and intervention.


Greenberg, who is currently interim associate director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association, had praise for school resource officers - those police officers assigned to school beats. He said local school districts should be given greater authority to enact policies to keep schools safe, including barring anyone other than law enforcement from carrying a firearm on the grounds.

Dan is a long-time New Hampshire journalist who has written for outlets including Foster's Daily Democrat, The Citizen of Laconia, The Boston Globe, and The Eagle-Tribune. He comes to NHPR from the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he reported on state, local, and national politics.

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