Shamokin Considers More Armed School Guards

SHAMOKIN -- It could cost the district thousands, but administrators at a school in Northumberland County are ready to hire more armed security guards to protect their students.

It's all in response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida last week.

Right now, Shamokin Area has three armed and two unarmed security officers working at the three schools in the district.

The reality of the school shooting in Florida is resonating with students throughout the country, including at Shamokin Area High School.

"It is pretty scary to think that kids can just come in and start shooting up your kids and classmates and stuff," said junior Blake Zalar.

"When you have free time, you sit there and you go through your head to think about what you would do," senior Jacob Carpenter said.

"I felt really disgusted with what happened and how people were treating the situation and how there was like not a big deal being made about it. Like I just didn't see a lot of action that was going to be taken," senior Madison Pancher said.

In response to the shooting, administrators in the Shamokin Area School District tell Newswatch 16 they're ready to take action and add more security.

The school district is considering adding bulletproof glass to classroom doors, but right now, the main focus is hiring more security officers.

"We are going to hire an additional armed security officer and we're going to hire additional unarmed security," school board member Charles Shuey said.

"People say we need to take guns away, and then some say we need more guns. I think if we add guns, well, if we take them away, they can still get them somehow and then the people that want to do good won't have them," Carpenter said.

Right now, there are three armed security officers patrolling the schools and parents agree with students: more is better.

"I'm a gun owner. That doesn't bother me one bit. I think whatever they need to do in order to keep my child and every other person I'm friends with child safe, I think that's an awesome idea," Kristie Chamberlain said.

The Shamokin Area School District hopes to find state or federal grant money to pay for other security improvements.

After a school board meeting Tuesday night, district officials expect security jobs could be posted as early as Wednesday.


  • Taco Salad

    Trained law enforcement officers have a hard time not shooting people who challenge their authority.
    What is the result going to be when you arm a rent-a-cop and place them with 250 teens who are literally programmed to challenge authority?
    The lawsuit for the first dead 16 year old will bankrupt the districts.
    Their initial “job” will be to protect from intruders. But you know that job description will grow and they will be asked to enforce non-threatening situations too.
    Remember the constable in Williamsport who thought it was his job to physically separate two baseball managers in an on field heated discussion at a Crosscutters game?
    Do we want guns breaking up scuffles between 14 year old girls?

  • warningfakenews

    Paying salaries and benefits to newly hired guards is a foolish way to go about this.

    Invite veterans who also happen to work in the district to carry. Offer to train them further if need be. Pay them to practice shooting.

    Make up new signs to replace the “Gun Free School Zone” ones and have them say, “We have more than 20 employees armed and ready to put down any assault” or whatever. Problem solved.

    • D

      dumb idea. hire act 235 trained armed security officers. not some old guy just hanging out with a gun. there are laws and procedures that have to be followed…

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