School Climate & Safety

Newtown, Conn., Rejects Tax Hike to Put Police in Schools

By Nirvi Shah — April 24, 2013 1 min read
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Although some of the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting traveled to Washington last week to press the U.S. Senate to pass gun-control legislation, Newtown, Conn., residents aren’t willing to spend additional money to improve school security across the 5,500-student school district.

Residents voted Tuesday against about a 5 percent hike to the city and school district’s budget.

Between them, the Hartford Courant reports, the school and town budgets of about $111 million include nearly $1 million to hire additional police officers. That would have allowed for armed police resource officers and unarmed security guards in each of the district’s seven schools. There was also money for improving security for the town’s three private schools, the newspaper reported.

The Newtown Bee reports that the city budget failed to pass by 66 votes; the school district budget failed by a margin of about 500. About 4,500 people voted on each measure.

Newtown resident Karin Hooper told the Courant that she thought the total budget was too high. Despite the issues about increased school security, “I voted no.” She said she isn’t convinced that armed officers in every school is the way to go.

(Neither are a lot of other people, as I reported earlier this year.)

“I don’t know if we researched it enough,” Hooper said. She said she would like to see aggressive research of other security measures besides armed guards, including physical changes in the schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.