Armed administrator discussion met with mixed emotions at Washington H.S.

By WEEK Producer

January 14, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill -- A discussion about the possibility of arming several administrators at Washington Community High School was met with mixed emotions Monday night.

In light of the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary and an overall increase in school shootings, the Washington Police Chief Jim Kuchenbecker and Superintendent Jim Dunnan want to explore new options.

The chief believes it would be worthwhile for the school board and the community as a whole to discuss the option of training and arming three administrators.

Some school board members expressed interest in going forward with meaningful discussion, while others want a full scale school safety discussion, and this could be just one aspect.

Parents and community members seem to be on both sides of the fence and, like school board members, want more information.

"I think arming our teachers or our administrators is a terrible mistake. They are not equipped, they are not trained, " said Reta Swearingen, a Washington grandparent and resident

"It's a very complicated issue and it's something that would effect the entire community. And I think in regards to our children's safety we need to explore all options," said Jewel Ward, a mother who is also a school board candidate in the upcoming election.

No decision or action was taken at Monday night's school board meeting.

The high school does already have one armed school resource officer.