District suspends police-in-schools program after officer discharges gun
A school district in New York has put a program to put armed officers in schools on hold after a policeman’s handgun went off at Highland High School.
At a Wednesday meeting with parents, Highland Central School District and police officials explained that Officer Sean McCutcheon had been suspended after his Glock .45-caliber pistol “accidentally discharged” in a school hallway at around 1:38 p.m. on Tuesday.
Lloyd Police Department Lt. James Janso said that a suspension was standard procedure while the incident was under investigation. Officials offered no further explanation as to why the gun discharged.
Some parents at the school board meeting questioned whether having armed guards in schools was worth the risk.
“What if a kid had been killed?” 43-year-old parent Mark Wallen asked. “We got lucky this time and that’s purely what it is.”
Following the December mass shooting of 20 elementary school children in Connecticut, McCutcheon was assigned as a school resource officer for the Highland Central School District. As the district’s only school resource officer, he rotated between three buildings.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has insisted that putting more armed guards in schools is the only way to curb violence.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said in December as he called on Congress “to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school.”
Watch this video from the Poughkeepsie Journal, broadcast March 6, 2013.