GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

January 24, 2013

Petition seeks security guards for city schools

Placing an armed security guard, possibly a police officer, in each of Gloucester’s schools is the goal of a petition drawn up and circulated by a Gloucester mother of three. And, in less than 10 days, more than 200 residents have signed on.

Tough petition opponents call the measure dangerous and unnecessary, petition author Amanda Kesterson, shaken by the December Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, said she she sensed a need to increase security in Gloucester’s schools, and felt sharing her idea can at least spark a conversation on the topic.

”I’m just a mom and I’m scared and concerned, and I want my kids to be safe,” Kesterson said. “I want all of Gloucester’s children to be safe.

”I’m not an expert on security, so I can’t speak to the absolute best situation,” she said. “But there might be something I haven’t even though of that’s better.”

Kesterson said she is simply pressing for some change.

”All of the measures we have taken seem to me to be reactive, rather than proactive,” Kesterson said. “Having a crisis prevention plan doesn’t prevent a crisis any more than having a fire drill plan prevents a fire.”

City Councilor Bruce Tobey, one of two councilors who responded to an email Kesterson wrote to councilors Dec. 19, requesting a public discussion on the topic, said he undamentally opposes the idea.

“Guns don’t belong in schools in a city like Gloucester,” Tobey said. “I would vigorously organize and contest any move that was taken by the school department in that direction.”

Tobey added, however, that he is certainly willing to listen to a public hearing on the topic, and he encourages a dialogue. And that dialogue will be had if at least 150 of the signatures on Kesterson’s petition are verifiable and presented to city councilors, according to the city charter that calls for a public hearing in that case.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case