Superintendent: Armed guards deployed to Miller Place schools
Miller Place Schools Superintendent Marianna Cartisano said in a letter to parents that four armed guards have been assigned to schools in the community.
The armed guards, all retired NYPD officers, started their duties on Monday. They join 14 unarmed security guards already employed by the district.
The new armed security officers have been assigned to each of the district's four buildings – Miller Place High School, North Country Middle School, Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School and Andrew Muller Primary School.
District officials say the move is in response to the Florida school massacre where 17 people were killed by a lone shooter. Officials told parents that the school board made the decision to hire the guards at a meeting on Sunday.
Parent Fred Parrish says armed guards are one way to prepare for the worst.
"You never know," he says. "You never want to be in that situation where you need it and it's not there."
Stephanie Barnett, who has a first-grader in the district, says the move could do more harm than good.
"I don't agree with it," she says. "I feel we should just have regular security watching over our children, not armed, because God forbid somebody decides to turn, the way these shooters are doing. Our children are in danger."
Tyler Degnan, a seventh-grader at North Country Middle School, says he thinks it's beneficial to have the armed guard present.
Miller Place joins a growing number of Long Island school districts that are hiring armed security guards. School officials say their guards are part of a temporary pilot program and that the district will evaluate it on an ongoing basis.