Long Island schools weigh arming guards

A fiery debate has captured the attention of the nation after 17 people were killed in the Parkland, Florida, shooting: Should teachers or school security guards be armed?

School districts throughout Long Island are reevaluating security measures. As Fox 5 reported last week, a surveillance camera pilot program is underway in Huntington that captures an image of anyone who pulls a fire alarm. In Westbury, all visitors are required to sign in. But the buzz surrounds the Miller Place school district where four armed guards joined the security staff earlier this week. At least two other districts are considering the idea but not everyone is on board.

Jericho Superintendent Henry Grishman said the district has enhanced its measures.

"More guns isn't the answer," he said. "We have locked-door procedures to make sure doors are locked every half hour. Reviewing entrance procedures. What happens over time is you recognize who forms through. Now everyone will show a license.

Rockville Centre Superintendent William Johnson said his district has over 500 surveillance cameras and a variety of security measures in place. However, he prefers to protect without armed guards. He said the district is different because it has a direct line to local police dispatch.

"I don't think our community is ready to accept the fact that we have guns in our schools no matter who has them," he said.

Professor Alan Singer, a retired high school teacher, agreed.

"I think people are frightened," Singer, a professor of secondary education at Hofstra University. "I think people are acting out of fear, not reason."

On March 14, many students, teachers, and gun-control advocates across the nation plan to leave school for 17 minutes to remember the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas. Organizers of the demonstration hope to send a message to Congress that more needs to be done.